- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Crowd cheers CU championship
Jun 09, 2004 12:00 am
Raucous cheers, honking car horns and even the rumble of thunder marked
yesterday's historic public celebration of Cumberland University's first
national baseball championship.
As Lebanon Mayor Don Fox welcomed the crowd to the Public Square to
celebrate CU¹s 2004 NAIA National Championship title, not even a brief,
unexpected thunderstorm could dampen the enthusiastic atmosphere.
The Bulldogs earned their national championship last week in Lewiston, Idaho. They were still in a celebratory spirit as they rolled onto the Square atop a Lebanon Fire Department engine and on a trolley-style trailer, though head coach Woody Hunt said he doesn¹t think the win has affected his players yet.
"They¹re doing great," Hunt said after the brief rally on the Square.
"They're ecstatic. They played good baseball. But just to be called
national champs hasn't sunken in."
For players' parents, however, the win was perfect for the proclaimed
Lindrell Barrett, whose son plays outfield for CU, said the radio media
in Lewiston, Idaho, only spoke about two teams Lewis-Clark State College
and Oklahoma City.
"We weren't even talked of," he said. "Lewis and Clark won the last
three years, and Oklahoma City placed second the last two years. We were
never considered a factor."
The Bulldogs, however, beat Oklahoma City twice during the World Series
tournament. Cumberland gave the No. 1-ranked team its first loss in the
double-elimination tournament last Monday by winning 12-8. After a
couple more wins, Cumberland faced Oklahoma City again Thursday in the final match up, pulling away to win the game and the NAIA World Series 10-3.
"They won but they won big," Mt. Juliet's Mary DePew said while waiting
for the team to arrive on the Square. "They had 19 straight wins, and they beat Oklahoma City twice."
DePew's son, Derek, is a sophomore second baseman on the team. She and
the Barretts and more than 30 other families traveled to Idaho to watch the
series. On Monday, they were standing on the Square holding up an NAIA
National Championship sign and welcoming the team home.
Parents weren¹t the only ones cheering the Bulldogs on Monday. Cumberland
University professor Dr. Barbara Walton also attended the rainy event.
"I think there would've been a lot more if the weather had been better," she
said, referring to the small, soaked-but-enthusiastic crowd. "But people are
just standing in the rain and not headed for cover. That says a lot."
Longtime Lebanon resident and CU supporter Johnny Clark agreed.
"Nothing can keep them away," he said with a smile. "This is the biggest
thing that's happened in Lebanon in a long time. It's better than the