By Eric SondheimerThe Los Angeles Times

San Juan Capistrano, CA

It’s hard to say what’s more stunning as you look out from behind home plate at JSerra’s new baseball field.

There’s the beauty of the new AstroTurf field, including the non-dirt mound, and there’s the fan-friendly viewing area amid stadium seating that was created by removing the backstop, 13 poles and having only black netting to obstruct views.

Both will be much appreciated when the baseball season begins in spring.

Even though Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Santa Ana Mater Dei have all-weather fields, both kept dirt on their mounds. JSerra’s AstroTurf mound should be favored by pitchers looking for consistency.

“I know a lot of people may not like this as a baseball purist,” JSerra Coach Brett Kay said. “I’m a baseball purist as well. I think this is the best field in the nation.”

By removing the backstop behind home plate and leaving only thin black netting, fans will be stunningly close to the action. Wild pitches, however, ought to be interesting when the ball bounces off the netting.

JSerra, the school that produced top draft pick Royce Lewis this past season, has always made its baseball program a top priority. Kay’s dedication and appreciation for detail will be much respected when others see the facility that he helped create.

It will be used for the Boras Classic next spring.