History of Couch Ballpark

Formerly known as Ernie Shore Field, the park was home to Carolina League minor league baseball under various team names since 1957. Among the notable alumni who played for Winston-Salem are Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and stars Dwight Evans, Sparky Lyle, and Cecil Cooper. 

David F. Couch Ballpark has been a home for baseball for Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem since it opened in 1956.

The ballpark, which seats 3,823 fans, is part of the Wake Forest athletics facilities complex that also includes LJVM Coliseum and Allegacy Stadium. The complex is located less than three miles north of downtown Winston-Salem and one mile south of the Wake Forest campus. 

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons played at Shore Field from its opening until they built Gene Hooks Field on campus in 1981 but because Hooks Field lacked lights, they continued to play some games at Shore Field.

In 2009, Wake Forest University took ownership of the stadium as the Winston-Salem Dash were completing a new downtown ballpark. 

In 2016, the park was named in honor of former Wake Forest baseball player David Couch, who made the lead gift for construction of a $14 million Player Development Center, which opened the following year.

The field bears the name Gene Hooks Field in honor of the former Wake Forest Athletic Director who played for the team from 1947-1950 and later returned as head baseball coach before becoming athletic director in 1964.

Wake Forest has carried out extensive renovations on the stadium since its acquisition.  The Player Development Center includes a team locker room and lounge, training and equipment rooms, and full kitchen among its amenities. The complex also includes the nationally-renowned Wake Forest Pitching Lab,  which features 20 cameras and 3-D modeling tools to evaluate biomechanics using the latest technology. 

Other upgrades have included a new FieldTurf playing surface in 2019, new seating and a new video board.

In 2023, the Demon Deacons recorded their best season at Couch Ballpark with a 54-12 record and spent much of the year as the No. 1 team in the country with a run to the College World Series semifinals. Couch Ballpark hosted NCAA Baseball Regionals and Super Regionals in the tournament.

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