By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is proud to announce a three-year extension of the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series to be hosted by Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho. With the extension, the event will remain in Lewiston through the 2016 championship. The 2013 championship will mark the 14th-consecutive trip the NAIA has made to Harris Field and 22nd all-time (1984 – 1991 and 2000 – present).
“The NAIA is excited to extend our relationship with Lewis-Clark State and the entire Lewiston community for the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “Lewis-Clark State and the NAIA World Series have a long tradition, which has evolved into one of the best championship experiences for our student-athletes. Everyone involved with this event ensures that all players, coaches, parents and fans leave town with great memories and a tremendous experience.”
Year one of the agreement will see the 10-team double elimination tournament running from May 23 – 30, 2014, while year two is scheduled for May 22 – 29, 2015 and year three is set for May 27 – June 3, 2016. 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 out 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 21 years of NAIA championship baseball, Harris Field has welcomed 777,904 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 Warriors won their NAIA record 16th national crown that season with an 8-3 victory.
The 2012 title contest featured a pair of championship game newcomers in Tennessee Wesleyan and Rogers State (Okla.). Despite falling behind 6-2 after three innings, Tennessee Wesleyan scored three runs in the sixth and five more in the eighth to claim its first-ever Avista-NAIA World Series title. Tennessee Wesleyan became the 32nd program in NAIA baseball history to win the national crown.
“Lewis-Clark State College is proud to continue its 21-year tradition of hosting the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series,” said LCSC President J. Anthony Fernandez. “This is one of the best collegiate national championships at any level and the NAIA, our sponsors, the community, and LCSC join to give student-athletes from across the country an experience of a lifetime.”
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 4,525 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, 189 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.