Avista-NAIA World Series Preview: Lewis-Clark State

Avista-NAIA World Series Preview: Lewis-Clark State

Avista-NAIA World Series

LEWISTON, Idaho. -- The Bellevue University baseball team, after ousting Lindsey Wilson College, 4-1, in its third game in Lewiston on Tuesday, continues their quest today for an NAIA National Championship at the 2016 Avista-NAIA World Series.

Bellevue is making its 13th appearance in the World Series, and their first since 2008. The Bruins take on 4th-seeded Lewis-Clark State at 6:35 p.m. local time (8:35 p.m. CT) on Wednesday in an elimination game.

The 60th annual event takes place May 27-June 3 at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho for the 17th-consecutive season and 25th time overall. The World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination tournament with the winner being crowned either June 2 or June 3.

Comprising the tournament field are 10 teams. In seeded order, they are; Faulkner (Ala.), Tennessee Wesleyan, Bellevue, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), Science & Arts (Okla.), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), Sterling (Kan.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), The Master's (Calif.), and Point (Ga.).

Just four teams remain after Science & Arts and Point were both eliminated on Saturday. The Master's and Auburn Montgomery were sent packing on Monday and Tuesday saw the tournament saying bon voyage to both Lindsey Wilson and Sterling. One or two teams will also be sent home Wednesday depending on the outcomes of certain games.

Stretch Internet will be broadcasting the first 15 games of the 2016 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. Day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-World Series ticket is available for $29.95. Games played June 1-3 are going to be delivered on ESPN3.

How they got here:

No. 3 Bellevue topped Auburn Montgomery 6-5 in 10 innings on Friday night before falling 9-3 to Tennessee Wesleyan yesterday afternoon. The Bruins rebounded by winning an elimination game, 4-1, against Lindsey Wilson on Tuesday afternoon.

No. 4 Lewis-Clark State opened the tournament on Saturday with a 2-1 walk-off win over Science & Arts before pulling off a second walk-off win over Faulkner, 3-0, on Monday. The Warriors then proceeded to defeat Tennessee Wesleyan, 11-7, on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday's match-up:

No. 3 Bellevue (53-11/20-3 NSAA) won both the North Star's regular-season and tournament championships to qualify for the National Tournament for the 18th time in program history. Bellevue is 29-5 since the beginning of April and has not lost back-to-back games at any point during the season. After battling out of the loser's bracket in Grand Rapids last week, the Bruins qualified for their 13th World Series. Bellevue is one of three teams (Faulkner and Lewis-Clark State) in the World Series field with a National Championship to their program's credit.

No. 4 Lewis-Clark State (51-7/30-5 NAIA West) won both the NAIA West Grouping Regular-Season and Tournament Championships during the regular season. By virtue of hosting the World Series, Lewis-Clark State gets a free pass to World Series round of the National Tournament. The Warriors have won 17-straight games dating back to Apr. 16 and are 25-2 in their last 27 games.

Notes:

  • Bellevue and Lewis-Clark State have met 23 times, dating back to the 1995 World Series. Lewis-Clark State owns a 19-4 advantage and has won 11-straight in the series.
  • Lewis-Clark State has won six of the seven World Series match-ups between the schools. The one time Bellevue defeated Lewis-Clark State, the Bruins went on to win the National Championship.
  • Including this NAIA World Series appearance (their 13th in program history), the Bruins have racked up 19 victories, including five on the way to the 1995 National Championship.
  • The Bruins are now 7-6 in their opening game at the World Series.
  • Bellevue is 5-0 in elimination games this post-season. BU defeated Mayville State in the single-game NSAA Championship and won three-straight elimination games in the Opening Round Davenport Bracket to reach the World Series. Most recently they defeated Lindsey Wilson in a World Series elimination game.
  • Bellevue owns an 11-11 all-time mark in elimination games at the World Series (excluding the 2001 season).
  • The Bruins have an impressive 49-0 record when holding the opposition to five or fewer runs. BU has two such wins in this year's World Series.
  • Beating the best: Bellevue owns a 15-5 record against teams that were either ranked or receiving votes when they played them throughout the season.

Players to Watch:

No. 3 Bellevue –

  • Sr. RHP Aaron Bain (4-1, 4.40 ERA, 37 SO, 47.0 IP)
  • Sr. 2B Ross Feeley (.327/.441/.355, 6 XBH, 26 RBI, 56 Runs, 9 SB)
  • Sr. OF Trevor Jones (.388/.439/.492, 16 XBH, 43 RBI, 60 Runs, 9 SB)
  • Sr. 1B Joe Mancuso (.381/.475/.669, 15 XBH, 34 RBI, 26 Runs)
  • Sr. OF Colton Nash (.338/.383/.449, 20 XBH, 46 RBI, 52 Runs)
  • Sr. RHP Leland Tilley (10-1, 8 Saves, 1.66 ERA, 40 SO, 38.0 IP)
  • Sr. LHP Braulio Torres-Perez (11-1, 2.72 ERA, 95 SO, 106.0 IP)
  • Jr. OF Derik Bontempo (.421/.467/.655, 32 XBH, 77 RBI, 52 Runs)
  • Jr. C Jake Browne (.339/.413/.448, 11 XBH, 41 RBI, 16 Runs)
  • Jr. RHP Ben McKendall (11-2, 1.95 ERA, 119 SO, 110.2 IP)
  • Jr. OF Joe Moran (.450/.466/.642, 18 XBH, 23 RBI, 45 Runs, 9 SB)
  • Jr. RHP/1B Todd Nicks (11-2, 2.59 ERA, 98 SO, 87.0 IP)

No. 4 Lewis Clark State –

  • Sr. RHP Quin Grogan (4-1, 1.52 ERA, 78 SO, 71.0 IP)
  • Sr. LHP Peter Irvin (4-1, 2.31 ERA, 32 SO, 35.0 IP)
  • Sr. IF Robert Smith (.291/.417/.453, 22 XBH, 52 RBI, 54 Runs)
  • Sr. OF Dylan Tashjian (.442/.492/.788, 12 XBH, 16 RBI, 14 Runs)
  • Jr. LHP Jake Barnett (6-1, 2.60 ERA, 48 SO, 45.0 IP)
  • Jr. RHP Noel Gonzalez (2-0, 8 Saves, 15 SO, 19.0 IP)
  • Jr. RHP Kevin Hamann (9-1, 1.84 ERA, 73 SO, 93.0 IP)
  • Jr. IF J.J. Robinson (.346/.450/.693, 41 XBH, 78 RBI, 56 Runs)
  • Jr. OF Jacob Zanon (.393/.464/.665, 32 XBH, 50 RBI, 75 Runs, 26 SB)
  • So. IF/RHP Micah Brown (.337/.397/.558, 27 XBH, 33 RBI, 36 Runs)
  • So. IF Tyler McDowell (.333/.403/.523, 18 XBH, 33 RBI, 29 Runs)

What's Next?:

Should Bellevue win, additional match-ups would be determined by the games committee.

Should Lewis-Clark State win, Bellevue would be eliminated and the Warriors would face the winner of Faulkner-Tennessee Wesleyan in the championship round on Thursday. The Warriors would need to win just one of two games to claim the World Series title whereas either Faulkner or Tennessee Wesleyan would have to defeat Lewis-Clark State twice to be named champions.

Avista-NAIA World Series | Harris Field | Lewiston, Idaho

Wednesday Schedule (Note: all times Pacific):

Game 16: No. 1 Faulkner vs. No. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan, 5:05 p.m. CT (Elimination Game)
Game 17: No. 3 Bellevue vs. No. 4 Lewis-Clark State, 8:35 p.m. CT (Elimination Game for Bellevue only)

BU Pro Baseball Roundup
July 31, 2015 BU Pro Baseball Roundup