Radford Highlanders set to unveil new artificial turf field for upcoming baseball season
The first game on the new diamond is set to take place on February 19.
RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - If you pop by Radford’s Sherman Carter Memorial Stadium this week, it may not look quite ready for baseball just yet.
But before you know it, those sweet sounds of America’s Pastime will be back in the New River Valley.
And thanks to an anonymous donor, the Highlanders will debut a brand new artificial turf field for the upcoming season.
“That’s killing me because I’d just love to go and hug him,” said RU head coach Karl Kuhn. “Even if he doesn’t want to hug me, I’d love to go hug him and tell him thanks.”
Kuhn could hardly contain his excitement about what the new field means for his team’s development in 2021.
“It used to take time to fix the field and, selfishly, now we don’t have to do that and now we can spend more time on development hours and development time with our players. We’re not putting the tarp on and off and having to make sure it doesn’t blow away in the wind down here in the New River Valley, that I’m still learning about. It’s going to be so much more efficient for our ballclub.”
The new field is the latest in a number of overhauls of Radford’s baseball facilities over the last decade, which include the stadium itself, and the Sioros Center, which houses an indoor practice facility.
Kuhn said, when you add it up, it makes the Highlanders a significant draw for prospective recruits.
“It’s a game-changer. It’s an unbelievable game-changer. If you do it right, and I’ve been tweeting and texting and sending ‘em all out to all of our recruits, it’s a game-changer,” Kuhn said.
“It’s a beautiful new field. It pops, it’s so clean, the artistry. When you come down and see it, you’re gonna’ see the lines are so crisp and clean, and I really think it takes us to the upper echelon of our league.”
Kuhn was introduced at Radford ahead of the 2020 season, and the Highlanders got off to their best start since 2014 before COVID-19 intervened.
A year later, his team has been picked to finish fourth in the Big South, and he has high hopes for what a new season, on a new field, will bring.
“I really like our club. I think we’ve got some really great additions from last year,” Kuhn said. “I’m sorry we lost the seniors and I’m so sorry they didn’t get to complete their season, but we’re just itching to get on the field.”
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