Vanderbilt baseball to show national pride, raise funds for local flood relief

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 10:52pm

The recent flooding in Middle Tennessee was a local disaster, but the response of Vanderbilt’s baseball program was rooted in national pride.

The Commodores will wear USA-themed attire when they play Louisville next Tuesday (6 p.m., Hawkins Field) as part of an effort to raise money and supplies for flood relief.

“It’s the first time we’ll be putting them on,” coach Tim Corbin said. “We’ve had them before because I’ve always prided myself on the American way and doing things for soldiers and so on.

“I think this is just a way we can wear these uniforms in (light) of what’s happening and make it an event more than just a game.”

The university announced that all remaining tickets (roughly 1,300) for that contest, a rematch of a 2009 regional final, will be given away beginning 8:30 a.m. at the VU athletics department ticket office. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fans will be asked to donate in lieu of the purchase price of the tickets. Also, collection stations will be set up for non-perishable food items to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank and clothing and other necessities to be distributed through Hands on Nashville.

The Commodores lost equipment and sustained damage to their stadium when the rain produced standing water that topped the benches of the dugouts on Sunday. By Tuesday, the field was restored to playing condition.

The game against Louisville is the first scheduled there since the record-setting rainfall and resultant floods.

“To see it (Wednesday), how quickly time heals,” Corbin said. “I know it won’t heal as quickly for people in this immediate area and it will take some time to completely restore homes and restore a natural way of life. I hope we can help with the financial part of it, in some way.

“When you can take an athletic event and channel it toward a cause, it means more than the winning and losing. Obviously, we want to win, but the part of getting people in the ballpark because of a cause is such a good thing too for our athletes, Vanderbilt and myself.”

Briefly

• Vanderbilt has petitioned the NCAA for permission to allow local high schools, whose athletic facilities were damaged by the floods, to use the university’s soccer field and track, etc., free of charge.

Currently Ensworth High School and University School of Nashville have events scheduled on campus.

• Catherine Newman and Jackie Wu were selected to play in the NCAA Division I Women’s Singles Championship later this month.

It will be the third appearance for Newman and the second for Wu.

Wu and partner Chelsea Preeg were selected as alternates for the doubles event.