UMES Hawks Open Season Friday Looking For Fresh Start


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PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland – Maryland Eastern Shore baseball will take the field this Friday in Macon, Georgia, seeking a return to the MEAC Championship in a quest for their first conference title. To achieve this goal, they will need a young team with 15 newcomers and a first year head coach to come together and continue building a winning tradition on The Shore.

The first step in this process is a three game series with the Mercer Bears, out of the Southern Conference. Friday’s season opener will start at 4 p.m., followed by a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s 1 p.m. finale. This series serves as the first meeting between the two schools.

Mercer will provide live stats throughout the weekend.

While there are 15 new faces on The Shore, fans can expect to see several veterans as well, including senior shortstop Jordan Martin (Atlanta, Georgia), and junior first basemen Jamison Trower (Chesterfield, Virginia) and Skylar Murray (Georgetown, Delaware). On the mound, junior pitcher Chris Melrath (Rising Sun, Maryland) is the current frontrunner for the rotation, but there might be a challenge from one of the eight new pitchers on staff.

Among the newcomers are infielders Ryan Rotondo (Warwick, Rhode Island) and Randy Pineda (Hazleton, Pennsylvania), pitchers Andre Bell (Detroit, Michigan) and high school teammates Wesley Martin and Stephen Cook (Westminster, Maryland), and outfielder Nathan Dallas Blackburn (Mississauga, Ontario), with many others. Blackburn, a native of Canada, is the first international player for the Hawks since pitcher Karim Gonzalez of Mexico in 2011.

Leading the charge will be first year head coach Charlie Goens. Goens had previous stops at Davis & Elkins, Richmond, Roanoke College and Newberry before arriving on The Shore.

The Hawks are coming off the most wins in back-to-back seasons since the 1994 and 1995 campaigns. Should the team achieve double digit wins again this year, it will be the fourth straight year they have done so, and the first such stretch since the 1992-1995 seasons.

This weekend is the first three games of 51 on the docket for the Hawks this season. Maryland Eastern Shore will open at home March 11th against Iona, and conference play picks up a week later at Coppin State. The season will conclude once again at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland as the Hawks host the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Championships.

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