Williams Field at Sherman Carter Memorial Stadium will have a new look for the 2021 baseball season, as the Radford athletics department announced that an artificial turf field will be installed at the ballpark.
“I know that I speak for the entire Radford baseball program, past and present players and coaches when I say thank you to our donors for this most generous gift during this most unprecedented time,” head coach Karl Kuhn said of the project. “We are grateful, humbled and honored to have a brand-new playing surface to match our already magnificent baseball stadium and indoor development center.”
President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said, “Radford University is fortunate to be supported by past, present and future Highlanders who give freely of their time, talent and treasure. The provided financial support for the baseball turf project is a clear symbol of the generous spirit of Highlanders and one that will provide an enhanced experience for Radford student-athletes and devoted fans for years to come!”
The project, which was privately funded through an anonymous donor, broke ground in November and is scheduled to be completed this month. FieldTurf, Inc., a world leader with over 20,000 artificial turf field installations worldwide, will install the field, which replaces the natural grass surface that has been in place since the stadium’s opening.
“Without the investment from our gracious supporters, this project would not be possible,” athletic director Robert Lineburg said. “As we continue to enhance the student-athlete experience, this project will allow our baseball program to better prepare for their season at a higher level. This addition will not only help with recruiting top athletes, but will serve our current student-athletes in their development to compete for championships.”
Similar to many baseball facilities, the design will feature green shading in certain areas rather than a solid green look, for a more aesthetically pleasing field. The infield has alternating shades of green stripes that stretch from home plate towards second base. The outfield has a similar system with wider striping. The Radford shield logo will be prominently displayed in center field in the same color shades as the striping in both the infield and outfield, while the Highlander wordmark will be featured behind home plate on a halo. Additional logos will be seen down the first and third baselines.
“As a baseball coach, you are always looking for avenues to update your facility for the betterment and development of your players,” Kuhn said. “This new state of the art turf field will allow our program the opportunity to join the elite baseball programs in the country by giving us the ability to develop and train our players on a surface second to none.”
The new field is the latest improvement to Radford’s baseball facilities and infrastructure that have been funded through donor support. Within the last decade alone, the Highlanders opened both Williams Field at Sherman Carter Memorial Stadium and the Sioros Center, which houses the baseball and softball offices and the indoor practice facility, and had a video board installed at the ballpark, all of which were either completely funded through donors or had large donor contributions.
President Hemphill added, “This critical project is also a true testament to the many ways in which our University is providing world-class facilities and unique experiences in the classroom, in competition and in the community. I cannot wait to see Coach Kuhn and his dedicated team take the field once this project is completed and the season begins!”
The first games on the new field will take place on Opening Weekend, when the Highlanders play host to an opponent to be announced for a three-game series beginning February 19.
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