LEBANON, Tenn.–Spring is near as we prepare for Cumberland Baseball to take the diamond for opening weekend in Florida. The Phoenix are ready to soar after their first trip back to the NAIA National Tournament in four seasons as third-year head coach Ryan Hunt leads the charge.
Last season’s team saw the resurgence of Cumberland Baseball as the team made its 11th appearance in the NAIA National Tournament since the current play-off format was put in place in the early 2000s. The Phoenix had one of the most explosive offenses in the NAIA as they hit .330 as a team, clubbed 125 home runs (3rd most in the NAIA), and totaled 553 runs, seventh-most, for 10.6 runs per game average.
Cumberland added two more All-Americans to its prestigious history a season ago as Cole Turney was named a First Team NAIA All-American and Tyner Hughes earned Honorable Mention honors. Turney blasted his way to a new school record in several categories for a single season, cranking 32 home runs in just 45 games, second in the nation. He also led the country in batting average hitting .521 across 140 at-bats, also a new school record. Hughes was an ultra-utility player for Cumberland this season, seeing time at mainly left field and behind the plate, but also playing third base, short stop, and first base for the Phoenix. Hughes’ bat was a force this season behind Turney in the lineup hitting .373 with 22 home runs and 70 RBIs.