Hickory's sinkhole could affect county teams

A sinkhole near the baseball field at Hickory High School is causing the Red Tornadoes to move their home baseball games.

Hickory baseball coach David Craft said he was recently notified of the issue at the field.

“There was a problem with an area outside of the playing surface at our field,” Craft said. “We’ve been notified that we are not to use our field.”

Beverly Snowden, public information officer with Hickory Public Schools, said the issue was caused by an existing pipe.

“The sinkhole area collapsed due to the break of an old storm drain pipe,” Snowden said. “We have taken appropriate precaution to secure the area. Contractors are reviewing the situation Friday to determine the next steps in the repair process.”

Due to the issue, the Red Tornadoes contacted a variety of fields across the county trying to find a new home site for the team until the issue is resolved.

Those sites include L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the Hickory Crawdads, and the field at the American Legion Fairgrounds.

The Red Tornadoes’ schedule has shifted already, including a game next week against Newton-Conover (1-1).

Originally scheduled to play the Red Devils at Washam Field, Hickory will play its home game on the road.

“We played Thursday at L.P. Frans, play Tuesday at L.P. Frans, go back to Newton-Conover on Wednesday and play at L.P. Frans next Friday,” Craft said. “That’s our schedule for this week and next.”

If the issue isn’t fixed, there are a pair of conference games that could be affected, including a March 27 contest against Fred T. Foard and an April 24 game against St. Stephens.

Snowden said the school has worked out an agreement with L.P. Frans and the Hickory Crawdads to play games at the stadium for the next two weeks.