By Spencer Scheve, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is proud to announce a two-year extension with Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) as hosts of the Avista-NAIA World Series. With the extension, the event will remain in Lewiston through the 2021 championship. The 2017 championship marks the 18th-consecutive trip the NAIA has made to Harris Field and 25th all-time (1984 – 1991 and 2000 – present).
“Lewis Clark State has been an important partner to the NAIA and we are pleased to announce this extension with them,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “We are thrilled to play a part in securing enhancements to Harris Field and we feel these improvements will make the championship experience even better for our student athletes.”
This contract plays a key role in helping Lewis Clark State secure capital improvements to Harris Field. Following the 2016 World Series, Lewis-Clark State set out to acquire a new digital scoreboard in addition to stadium renovations. Along with the 24’4” x 32’9” video display board that will have digital capabilities, Lewis-Clark State is also working to add new molded reserved seating, which will be wider and more comfortable than the previous seats and are also working to enclose the stadium with brick.
“The tournament has been a tremendous success in the Lewis-Clark Valley. We are extremely excited to continue our relationship with the NAIA and the Avista-NAIA World Series, said Brooke Cushman, Avista-NAIA World Series Tournament Director. “By extending the contract, this will allow us to continue to provide a great experience to the spectators, fans, players and coaches.”
Year one of the agreement will see the 10-team double elimination tournament running from May 22 – 29, 2020 and year two is scheduled for May 28 – June 5, 2021. The field is made up of host Lewis-Clark State and nine teams that qualify by winning one of nine NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round tournaments, which are played approximately two weeks prior to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
Harris Field, which rests on the south side of Lewis-Clark State’s campus, was constructed in 1970 and is named after prominent Lewiston businessman and baseball enthusiast Loyd Harris. In the previous 24 years of NAIA Championship baseball at Harris Field, it has welcomed over 900,000 fans to the NAIA World Series, including a championship record 5,530 individuals to the 2008 championship game that featured Lewis-Clark State and Lee (Tenn.).
The 2016 championship game featured Faulkner (Ala.) and Lewis-Clark State. In the high scoring championship game, the Warriors edged the Eagles 12-11 after allowing three runs in the ninth-inning to win back-to-back Avista-NAIA World Series titles. This was Lewis-Clark State’s 18th all-time Avista-NAIA World Series banner.
“This extension continues the long-term relationship between the NAIA and LCSC,” said Gary Picone, Lewis-Clark Athletic Director. “We want to continue to provide a championship showcase within the NAIA and this extension allows us to do that.”
Founded in 1893, Lewis-Clark State is a public undergraduate college that is located in Lewiston, Idaho. Lewis-Clark State has a student population of approximately 3,924 and offers academic programs in the divisions of business, education, humanities, natural sciences, nursing and health sciences, and social sciences, and professional technical programs in business technology and service and technical and industrial.
The NAIA has sponsored baseball since 1957, when its first championship in the sport was held in Alpine, Texas. Currently, 184 NAIA institutions sponsor the sport of baseball. For a complete list of participating schools, click here.
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
To learn more about NAIA baseball, click here.