No river required: Rains force VU baseball team to football field

Monday, May 3, 2010 at 10:33pm

Vanderbilt’s baseball team learned an important lesson about flooding: No river required.

The record-setting rainfall on Saturday and Sunday, which led area rivers to overflow their banks and create flood conditions throughout Middle Tennessee, not only forced the Commodores to cancel two weekend games against Georgia it required them to work out Monday on the football practice field, which has an artificial surface.

Charles Hawkins Field sits well away from the Cumberland River, but by Sunday afternoon standing water in the outfield was waist-high nonetheless.

“It was incredible,” coach Tim Corbin said.

Corbin said he expected the playing surface to be restored to good condition in short order. In fact, he said he planned to try and practice on it Tuesday afternoon.

Other things, such as the clubhouse and dugouts might take a little longer to refurbish and supplies need to be replenished.

“We lost a lot of equipment – balls, bats,” Corbin said. “I think we’re OK with bats but everything else is going to take us a while to replace.”

Vanderbilt was not the only local university affected.

Belmont’s baseball team hosted a doubleheader on rival Lipscomb’s field on Monday.

Trevecca Nazarene had damage to both its softball and baseball fields.

The fence of the baseball field was bent back slightly, but the field itself was in good enough condition that coaches agreed to let Donelson Christian Academy’s high school team train there the remainder of the this week. DCA’s property was completely submerged.

The school has no remaining home baseball games scheduled.

TNU’s softball field fence was completely knocked over. The team, which won the conference tournament title on Friday (one day before the rains), previously planned a couple days off this week so players could focus on final exams.

Vanderbilt’s next scheduled home game is May 11 against Louisville.

“It just went sideways on us,” Corbin said. “We did the best we could, but it just came down too fast, and the next thing you knew we had 15 inches of water.”