In 2009 the Patriots began the season in the NAIA Pre-Season Top 10 poll and were picked as the favorite in the Mid-South Conference. After some obstacles, the Patriots finished as the #3 seed in the MSC Tournament. The Patriots came up short in the tournament tying Georgetown for second place. The Patriots finsihed with an overall record of 31-19 and a 14-8 record in the MSC. Statistically, the Patriots offense posted a .311 batting average, 111 doubles, 20 triples, and 46 homeruns. The Patriots led the confernece in fielding percentage (.957) and stolen bases (87). Some highlights for the season include wins over several ranked opponents including Union and Tennessee Wesleyan. The teams 31 win season marked its record 8th straight 30 plus win seasons.
In 2008 the UC Patriots captured the Mid South Conference Championship recording a 17-2 record in conference play. Overall, the team posted a 43-16 record and was ranked as high as #6 nationally. The team received the #1 seed in the Region XI Tournament and was ranked #7 in the final NAIA National Poll. Offensively, the Patriots set a school record with 182 stolen bases and hit .326 as a team. The defense set school records in fielding percentage (.959) and double plays (51). The pitching staff pitched 24 complete games including six shutouts. Left fielder Trevor Urbanick was named Mid South Conference Player of the Year, Region XI Player of the Year, and NAIA first team All American. Junior pitcher Adam Blakey was named Mid South Conference Pitcher of the Year. Junior second baseman Drew Denton received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the nation's top defensive second baseman. Third baseman Javier Gali-Rodriguez signed a professional contract with the Corpus Christi Beach Dogs of the Continental Baseball League. Senior Jon Silverman was named the Mid South Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year.
In 2007 The Patriots began the season ranked in the NAIA Pre-Season top 10 and led the Mid South Conference for most of the season before injuries and inexperience caused the team to fall into a third place finish. The team finished with a 35-19 record. Offensively, the Patriots offense hit .315 and set a then school record for stolen bases (120). The pitching staff had a team ERA of 3.15 and threw 20 complete games. Senior outfielder Daniel Guttridge was named the Mid South Conference Player of the Year and signed a professional contract with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League.
In 2006 UC continued to excel at the conference and regional levels as the team won another Mid South Conference Championship and placed third in the NAIA Region XI Tournament. For the season, the team compiled 39 wins against 16 losses. The regional appearance was the Patriots third in three seasons and fourth in Shelton's five years at the helm. The team was ranked as high as #22 during the season's weekly NAIA national polls. Senior shortstop Jon Sullivan signed a professional contract with the Macon Music of the South Coast League.
2005 was another outstanding year for the Patriots as they made an excellent run in the NAIA Region XI Tournament. The team advanced to the Regional Championship game for the first time in School history. The team's highest ranking in '05 was #10, but ended the season ½ game behind Conference Champion Campbellsville University. The Patriots received an at large bid to the NAIA Regionals and eliminated #15 Campbellsville, #6 Trevecca University and Lambuth University, but were defeated by defending National Champions Cumberland University.
The 2004 edition of Patriot baseball was one of the greatest teams in the program's storied history. The team set many school records on its way to a 45-11 record and #3 national ranking. The team posted a 17-3 record in Mid-South Conference play, winning the regular season and tournament championships. Junior outfielder Roman Cox was named Mid South Conference Player of the Year and senior pitcher J.J. Jackson was named Mid South Conference Pitcher of the Year. Jackson signed a professional contract with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League.
In his first nine seasons as Cumberlands' skipper, the team has 327 wins, five NAIA regional appearances, three Mid-South Conference Championship, one Mid-South Conference Tournament Championship, and one NAIA Regional Runner-Up. One player has been named First Team NAIA All American. One has been named Region XI Player of the Year. Eight players have been named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, three have been named Mid-South Conference Players of the Year, two have been named Mid-South Conference Pitcher of the Year, 36 have been named First Team All Conference, 23 have been named Second Team All Conference, and 21 have been named Honorable Mention All Conference.
Prior to coming to UC, Shelton was the head coach at St. Catharine College where he built a nationally ranked junior college program. Highlights of his six year tenure at SCC are 189 wins, 2 40+ win seasons, 60 former players signed with four year colleges and universities, two top ten national rankings, and 2 major league draft choices.
Since becoming a head coach, 9 teams he has coached finished the season ranked in the top 25 in team hitting, thirteen of these teams hit over .300. Ten of those teams were recognized by receiving votes for the national polls. Eleven former players have been drafted or signed by professional baseball teams.
A former associate scout for the Texas Rangers (4 years), Shelton is a veteran of several summer baseball camps, including the University of Kentucky Camp, Champions Five Star Camp, Blue-Grey Select, Best of Kentucky, and Central Kentucky Baseball Clinic. Shelton directed camps at St. Catharine and currently hosts camps throughout the year at The University of the Cumberlands.
Shelton , a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, served in 2003 and 2004 as the Chair of the Mid-South Conference Baseball Committee.
Inheriting a team that was 7-34 in 2001, Shelton directed the team to a 34-29 record in 2002. This was the biggest turnaround in college baseball (+27 victories) at any level in 2002. The Patriots 268 wins are the second most wins in Kentucky College Baseball over the past seven seasons.
A graduate of Asbury College (B.S.), The University of the Cumberlands (M.A.) and Owen County High School, Shelton is married to Candace (Isaac) a speech pathologist in the Whitley County School System. They have two sons Tyler (9) and Clay (7). They are members of the Main Street Baptist Church, Williamsburg, KY.
Richard Dennis begins his fifth season as a Patriot assistant coach.
Coach Dennis, a former Patriot standout, returns as a coach after working on a degree in turf management at Eastern Kentucky University. Coach Dennis graduated from the University of the Cumberlands with a degree in Business Administration; he is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Business Education from the University of the Cumberlands.
Coach Dennis prepped at traditional power Harrison County where he was one of the top catchers in the state. His teams won two state championships while there. After high school Richard attended Saint Catharine Junior College where he played for Coach Shelton. In his two years at SCC, the Patriots were consistently ranked in the Top 10 Nationally and won 76 games. After SCC, Dennis followed Coach Shelton to UC where he completed his eligibility. In his four year career, Richard played in 179 games, had a career batting average of .324, totalled 176 hits, 50 doubles, 19 homeruns and 143 RBI's. In 2001 Dennis was named All Mid-South Conference Honorable Mention and was All Mid-South Conference 2 nd Team following his senior season.
Coach Dennis' responsibilities will include being the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. He will also be responsible for field work and other day to day activities.
"Richard Dennis was one of the purest hitters I have coached. He had a smooth left handed stroke and was a tough out. He played several positions at the college level and his versatility was key to those successful seasons. His knowledge of catching, infield play, and hitting will benefit our team. His friendly personality and familiarity with Kentucky High School Baseball is going to be a big boost for our recruiting," said Coach Shelton.
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