KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released the list of host sites for the seventh annual NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, the national office announced Wednesday. The 45-team event will be played May 12 – 15 and features nine, five-team double elimination tournaments. Opening Round qualifiers and seeding will be announced May 8.
This year’s hosts include: Bellevue University (Neb.), Davenport University (Mich.), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Fla.), Faulkner University (Ala.), Georgia Gwinnett College, Kingsport (Tenn.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma City University, and The Master’s College (Calif.).
Embry-Riddle has hosted every year since the format was established in 2009. The Eagles have advanced to the World Series in five of the six previous seasons.
Oklahoma City and Kingsport are the next longest tenured hosts with 2015 being the sixth and fifth time, respectively, the two have welcomed the event to their facility.
This year’s first-time hosts are: Bellevue and Davenport.
Last season, four of the nine hosts won their respective Opening Round tournaments. Overall, hosts have won 26-of-54 all-time Opening Rounds. Embry-Riddle and former-member Lee (Tenn.) boast the most Opening Round titles with five each.
The No. 1 seeds were dominant in the 2014 event, as eight-of-nine punched a ticket to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. Third-seeded Cumberland (Tenn.), which would go on to win its third national title, was the only non-No. 1.
The Opening Round site selection process takes into account geography, facilities, student-athlete experience and host qualification. In the event that a selected bid is tied directly to an institution, that school is guaranteed at least an at-large host berth. The application deadline for bids was April 1.
The nine Opening Round champions join World Series host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) to make up the field at the 2015 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho. The event is slated to run from May 22 – 29.
|Host||Facility||Host City||Event Title|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||Roddy Field||Bellevue, Neb.||Bellevue Bracket|
|Davenport (Mich.)||Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex||Grand Rapids, Mich.||Grand Rapids Bracket|
|Embry-Riddle (Fla.)||Sliwa Stadium||Daytona Beach, Fla.||Daytona Beach Bracket|
|Faulkner (Ala.)||Harrison Field||Montgomery, Ala.||Montgomery Bracket|
|Georgia Gwinnett||Grizzly Baseball Complex||Lawrenceville, Ga.||Lawrenceville Bracket|
|Kingsport CVB||Hunter Wright Stadium||Kingsport, Tenn.||Kingsport Bracket|
|Oklahoma Baptist||Bison Field at Ford Park||Shawnee, Okla.||Shawnee Bracket|
|Oklahoma City||Jim Wade Stadium||Oklahoma City, Okla.||Oklahoma City Bracket|
|The Master's (Calif.)||Reese Field at Lou Herwaldt Stadium||Santa Clarita, Calif.||Santa Clarita Bracket|