November 2011

Up to Bat: Batter’s Box delivers year-round training in a cool environment

Author: Peter Zink | Photographer: John Brackett

With the crisp fall air, sunny blue skies, and cool steady winds blowing offshore, there’s no better time to be outdoors swinging a bat and pitching balls in the Lowcountry. But there are only a few more weeks before you’re likely to find yourself with cloudy skies, colder temperatures, and steady rainfall. While the baseball season won’t fire up again until spring, the weather shouldn’t be a reason to stop training.

Enter the Batter’s Box, the only indoor baseball and softball training facility in Bluffton and on Hilton Head. When Lisa Stauffer and her family moved to Hilton Head two years ago from Philadelphia, they decided to get their two boys more involved in the great outdoor sports offered here. “We noticed our kids were really interested in baseball, but there weren’t a whole lot of training facilities. Just like piano or any other interest, you’ve got to have a place where your kids can get better,” Stauffer said. After a few inquiries and help from the Hilton Head Baseball Academy (HHBA) and the boys’ coach in Philadelphia, Stauffer and her husband decided to open their own indoor training facility off of Southwood Park Drive. Only a year old, Batter’s Box features over 3,000 square feet of indoor training space, with three training lanes that feature adjustable nets to allow players to practice in a variety of configurations. They have everything ranging from adjustable pitcher mounds to baseball machines.

“The softball pitch machine is particularly great; it can do a fast pitch or a slow pitch high arc. It lets us accommodate all levels of play,” Stauffer added.
But the machines aren’t the only way Batter’s Box accommodates all levels of play. Stauffer was fortunate early on to find local instructional talent in Randy McGarvey Jr. and Brett Young. As a Bluffton firefighter and one of the original founders of the Hilton Head Baseball Association, McGarvey coaches a variety of classes and clinics for players of all ages and ability. Drafted by the Houston Astros in 2002 as a defensive, he recently completed a series of catching clinics, an overlooked skill not covered extensively at every training facility.

For Brett Young, the timing couldn’t have been better. “He actually moved down the street from Randy McGarvey’s parents who told him about us,” said Stauffer. “Two weeks later he was running a camp, and he’s been great since.” From Pee Wee clinics for five year olds to training high school players to get recruited, between McGarvey and Young, Batter’s Box’s clinics and private lessons cover a wide spectrum of choices for players.

Looking ahead, Stauffer sees plenty of opportunities for people to get involved. Batter’s Box is just starting preseason workouts to prepare middle and high school players for the spring season, when the weather should be reasonable again. Until the spring starts, Batter’s Box will keep the balls flying and the players training.

Batter’s Box is located at 2 Southwood Park Dr., Bluffton. For more information, call (843) 715-2737 or visit battersboxhhi.com.

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