KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Opening Round Schedule | Results) NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round action concluded Thursday afternoon as the final four spots in the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series were claimed. The official bracket for the 61st annual event is scheduled to be released tomorrow by 1 p.m. CDT on NAIA.org.
Keiser (Fla.) – the top seed out of the Kingsport Bracket – was the first team today to punch its ticket to Lewiston, as the Seahawks downed IU Southeast (Ind.), 9-6. A five-run eighth inning proved the difference in the contest. The World Series appearance will be the first-ever for the club.
The other top seed to win today was Oklahoma Wesleyan in the Bartlesville Bracket. The Eagles held a hot hitting Indiana Tech team to only six runs en route to a 14-6 win. This is the second time in program history that Oklahoma Wesleyan has reached the World Series.
Science & Arts (Okla.) returns to the World Series after sweeping the Bellevue Bracket, including a 5-4 win over host Bellevue (Neb.) in the title game. The Drovers join Faulkner (Ala.), Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and The Master's (Calif.) as returning teams from the 2016 field.
The final spot in this year's World Series was won in dramatic fashion, as William Carey (Miss.) claimed a 10-9 walk-off victory over Southeastern (Fla.) in the Hattiesburg Bracket. Wes Brown was credited with the hit and Adrian Brown scored the run to send the Crusaders to their first World Series since 1978.
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship, click here. You can also follow the action on the NAIA's Twitter (@NAIA), Facebook (PlayNAIA) and Instagram (playnaia) using #NAIABaseball.