Cumberland to host 10-year reunion of 2014 nat'l champions

Mar. 13—Cumberland will host a 10-year reunion of the 2014 NAIA national champion baseball team April 5-6 at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.

The team will be honored on the field between the games against Freed-Hardeman on April 6.

"The 2014 CU baseball team that won the NAIA national championship is by far the best story in Cumberland athletic history," said Vice President of Athletics Ron Pavan. "Their coming together as a team and the will to win is unmatched. It is an honor to have them back on campus."

The national championship marked the program's third title as the team finished the season 49-20.

The then-Bulldogs, who became the Phoenix in 2016, started their run as they went on to win the Mid-South Conference tournament championship defeating 3rd-ranked Georgetown twice in extra innings to claim the conference title. The win set up an automatic bid into the national tournament field. From there, the Bulldogs traveled to Kingsport as the 3-seed in the bracket and made their run to the World Series with a win over No. 13 Brewton-Parker and two wins over No. 7 Missouri Baptist to punch their ticket to Lewiston, Idaho.

The Bulldogs went on to become the only 10-seed in the NAIA World Series to claim the championship. The run started in game one as Cumberland routed 8-seed San Diego Christian 10-1. They backed that with a 6-1 win over 2-seed and host Lewis-Clark State. In the winner's bracket, Cumberland outlasted 3-seed Oklahoma Wesleyan to win in walk-off fashion on a Richie Seaton walk-off single to move on. The Bulldogs then faced No. 1 seed Oklahoma Baptist and after a long rain delay came out on top 13-5.

In the final four teams of the tournament, the Bulldogs drew 2-seed Lewis-Clark State again, this time the Warriors were able to walk off Cumberland. Despite the loss, as the only team without a bye, Cumberland awaited its opponent for a winner-take-all national championship on May 30. The Warriors bested Oklahoma Wesleyan to set up the third match between Cumberland and LC State.

Anthony Gomez tossed a complete game on the mound to shut out Lewis-Clark State and claim the program's third national title.

As a squad, the team hit .315 scoring on average 7.17 runs per game. The pitching staff logged the most innings in the NAIA that season with a 3.52 earned run average.

Sam Lind garnered first team All-American honors as well as was named the World Series' Most Valuable Player. Lind led the NAIA in hits, total bases and runs batted in, racking up 109 hits, 180 total bases and 91 RBIs. The second baseman finished in third in home runs with 16.

Ricky Coleman and Chris Hall each earned second team All-American honors. Hall, an outfielder from Friendship Christian School, was the table setter for the Bulldogs at the top of the lineup posting a .392 average with 75 runs scored. Coleman played multiple positions for CU, starting out in the outfield before finishing the season at third base. Coleman was third in the NAIA in hits with 99 and a .381 average. He hit four homers and drove in 58 runs.