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Beavers pitch in to help Nashville

Beavers pitch in to help Nashville

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SAN DIEGO -- Current Portland Beavers players Mike Baxter and Matt Buschmann, who played baseball at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, were among a group from the team who assisted in relief efforts in flood-ravaged Nashville on Monday.

Baxter, Buschmann, Craig Cooper, Craig Stansberry, manager Terry Kennedy and head athletic trainer Wade Yamasaki of the Padres' Triple-A affiliate worked with Hands on Nashville and the Community Resource Center with the delivery and processing of donations.

The Beavers were in Nashville over the weekend for a four-game series that concluded Tuesday.

Baxter, an outfielder for the Beavers, had been monitoring the flooding but it wasn't until he set his sights on the city when the damage really hit home.

"It took me a couple days to understand the magnitude of it all," Baxter said by phone Tuesday.

"I talked to people in Nashville and they said it was raining a lot. Then after talking to my girlfriend and college coach, they said it was a catastrophe. That's when it started to sink in."

Baxter and Buschmann, a pitcher, played at Vanderbilt but the area where they lived was not among the worst hit.

"In the downtown area, they already have started construction going on to clean up the debris," Baxter said. "The area I live in is a little higher elevation [right by the campus] so it's not as bad there. Downtown is about two miles away but it's downhill.

"The water has receded but the damage is done."

On Monday, Baxter, Buschmann, infielders Cooper and Stansberry along with Kennedy and Yamasaki helped load toiletries from a warehouse that was a makeshift relief center into vehicles for distribution.

"We got in there for two or three hours. It wasn't much; we moved some stuff around and loaded some buses," Baxter said. "It worked out pretty well."

Buschmann played at Vanderbilt from 2003-06 and still resides in Nashville during the offseason. Baxter played for Vanderbilt from 2004-05 and completed his degree during the offseason.

Baxter was named the Commodores' MVP in 2005 after leading the team in average, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, runs scored and RBIs.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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