PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland - Maryland Eastern Shore baseball will have a new home for the 2018 season, as the Hawks announce a partnership with the Delmarva Shorebirds to play their home contests at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in nearby Salisbury, Maryland.
"Perdue Stadium is an amazing stadium to host our games," Director of Athletics Keith Davidson said. "We have an excellent working relationship with the Shorebirds and 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."
Ongoing field renovations to Hawk Stadium necessitated the move from Princess Anne to Salisbury. Work is being done to replace sod and rebuild the outfield wall. Improvements are also being made to fan experience, including a new scoreboard.
The Hawks have previously hosted the MEAC Baseball Championships at the stadium from 2015 to 2017.
"We have a tremendous partnership with Maryland Eastern Shore Athletics over the years," Shorebirds General Manager Chris Bitters said. "Most recently, we have successfully hosted the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament the past three years.
"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."
The Shorebirds had worked in the past with Hawks coach Brian Hollamon, during his time with Parkside High School, to both develop and host events that allowed high school athletes the opportunity to play in Perdue Stadium. Both the Bayside Senior All-Star game and the Bi-State rivalry games were hosted at the Wicomico County mecca.
"We just practiced over there yesterday," Hollamon said. "The guys enjoyed being out on the field. There is an excitement to being at the stadium and the Shorebirds have been very accommodating. 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 home baseball season for Maryland Eastern Shore begins on Feb. 27 versus La Salle. March encompasses the bulk of the Hawks' home contests, with a few games scattered in April when the Shorebirds are out of town.
The change of venue will also result in the creation of ticket plans for Hawk Baseball. For the first time ever friends, families, fans and faculty/staff can purchase a season ticket plan to catch all 25 home games of the Hawks. The season ticket will cost just $75 and include general admission seating in the lower sections of Perdue Stadium, one-hour early admission to the stadium, free parking, a special ticket holder gift, an autographed team poster and complimentary game programs!
The special inaugural season price is a great bargain as the single day admission price is $6 for each one of the 15 dates. Current students of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will be admitted free with ID.
Local business owners can also take advantage of the inaugural sponsor plan packages that include numerous ways to advertise with the Hawks and at Perdue Stadium, all of which include season tickets.
"I think people are really chomping at the bit to come watch us and come see how the program grows," Hollamon said "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. 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."
Thanks largely to the efforts of the late Frank Perdue, Arthur W. Perdue Stadium-named in honor of his father and the famed chicken company's founder - has hosted baseball contests since 1996. The main tenants are the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Class A affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles, but the Shorebirds work with other baseball organizations to host events on the field.
Perdue Stadium recently underwent renovations in 2016 with the replacement of all seats in the ballpark and a new video board beyond the right-center field wall.
The stadium gives the Hawks a premier venue to play baseball. It automatically becomes the largest in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), and The Shore becomes one of two teams to share facilities with a minor league baseball franchise, along with Bethune-Cookman, which shares Jackie Robinson Ballpark with the Daytona Tortugas.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.umestickets.com or by calling G. Stan Bradley at 410-651-6499. Ticket brochures are available on campus and at Perdue Stadium or can be mailed by request. Don't miss your chance to see Coach Brian Hollamon in his first year leading the Hawks at home in Perdue Stadium!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.