The Benefits of Hitting Mats

Hitting and pitching mats are another tool in the groundskeeper’s tool box for maintaining the mound and home plate wear areas. They provide two major benefits to the playing surface. First, they eliminate the wear that would normally occur in the batter’s boxes or the front of the mound when any kind of practice is occurring. And secondly, the mat helps to manage the moisture in the clay areas beneath the mat during practice since normally in the past those two clay areas would have sat out in the open, susceptible to the evaporative forces of sun, wind and low humidities. These are the culprits that can rapidly steal valuable moisture from these high-wear areas.

But wait!!! These mats are not just beneficial outdoors or on natural fields. Hitting mats also work great to protect permanent artificial turf installations on fields, in batting cages, around soft-toss areas or at indoor facilities. When permanent artificial turf is installed, it is best to use a hitting mat to hit off whenever possible so that the concentrated foot traffic does not inflict damage on permanent turf, which can result in costly repairs.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor's in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of "Groundskeeper University", the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.