Ballfields to open next month with start of Little League season

03/20/2013 2:00 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The ballfields at EPCAL will be named after two soldiers who died in Afghanistan, Jonathan Keller and Anthony Venetz Jr., both of Wading River.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The ballfields at EPCAL will be named after two soldiers who died in Afghanistan, Jonathan Keller and Anthony Venetz Jr., both of Wading River.

Riverhead Town’s long planned ballfields at the Enterprise Park at Calverton will officially open next month, according to Councilman George Gabrielsen, who issued a press release announcing the opening of the fields.

The Opening Day ceremonies at what town officials have named Veterans Memorial Park will start at 10 a.m. on April 27, and will be followed by ballgames, including opening day for Riverhead Little League.

The rain date is April 28.

Opening day participants will include the Little League, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Boy Scouts, local fire departments and other community groups, officials said.

Two of the fields at the 62-acre park will be named in honor of two local soldiers who gave their lives for their country: U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz Jr, and  U.S. Army Sergeant Jonathan Keller, both of Wading River. The fields will be dedicated in their honor during the April 27 ceremonies.

The town has been planning new fields at EPCAL for more than a decade. A project estimated to cost $1.3 million in 2004 now has cost about $2.5 million to date, according to Mr. Gabrielsen.

Along the way, the fields were delayed by requirements from the county health department and the state Department of Transportation, and officials have debated issues such as whether the fields should have lights installed for night games.

Officials ultimately went with no lights, which would have added about $900,000 to the cost of the project, although they said lights can still be added in the future.

tgannon@timesreview.com

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