“Perdue Stadium is an amazing stadium to host our games. We have an excellent working relationship with the Shorebirds,” said Keith Davidson, UMES’ director of athletics. “When we found ourselves in need of a realistic venue to host our fast-approaching season, Assistant General Manager Jimmy Sweet and the rest of the organization really came through with a partnership that expands on our existing affiliation.”
Hawk Stadium is undergoing field renovations which caused the move from Princess Anne to Salisbury. Improvements such as sod replacement, rebuilding the outfield wall and the addition of a new scoreboard are being done.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Championships were hosted by UMES at the stadium from 2015 to 2017.
“We have a tremendous partnership with Maryland Eastern Shore Athletics over the years,” said Chris Bitters, Shorebirds general manager. “We are thrilled to expand that partnership and be able to host Hawks home games for 2018 season. We look forward to maximizing the available dates at Perdue Stadium with this partnership.”
Previously, the Shorebirds have worked with Hawks coach Brian Hollamon throughout his tenure with Parkside High School, to create and host chances for high school athletes to play in Perdue stadium. The Bayside Senior all-star game and the Bi-State rivalry games were both played at the stadium.
“We just practiced over there yesterday. The guys enjoyed being out on the field. There is an excitement to being at the stadium and the Shorebirds have been very accommodating,” Hollamon said. “They are very happy to have us and we are very happy to be there. Working out the logistics takes a while, but other than that I think the guys are excited and you can’t play in a better facility.”
The Hawks open the season at home on Feb. 27 against La Salle. The majority of home games for the Hawks come in March, plus a few in April when the Shorebirds are on the road.
For the first time, season ticket plans will be available for hawk baseball for all 25 home games due to the venue change. The plan costs $75 and will include general admission seating in the lower section of the stadium, free parking, one hour early admission, autographed team poster and game programs.
“I think people are really chomping at the bit to come watch us and come see how the program grows. And with that being said, I think people are going to come out and be very surprised at the quality of play. We have some good players and I think we are going to only get better as the years go on,” Holloman said. “Having a nice facility to play at is key. I’d like to have a real nice facility here on campus, but right now it is a work in progress and it’s going to take a lot of work. But we are excited about the opportunity.”
Arthur W. Perdue Stadium was named by the late Frank Perdue, honoring his father and the founder of Perdue Farms. Since 1996, the stadium has hosted baseball games, mainly the Delmarva Shorebirds, Class A affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles.
Perdue Stadium was renovated in 2016, replacing all seats and adding a new video board off the right-center field wall.
Tickets can be purchased either online at www.umestickets.com or by calling G. Stan Bradley at 410-651-6499.