The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics released the official seedings and bracket late Monday evening. The Flames and Pilots will tangle at 3 p.m. EDT Friday.
“We are excited to be making our fifth consecutive trip to Lewiston,” said Lee Coach mark Brew. “It is a great baseball town and the community really supports this event. We have met a lot of great people from the area over the years and have created some fans.”
“The Opening Round format has continued to do what it was set up to do,” added Brew. “It will be another impressive field of teams with eight of the 10 teams being top 15 clubs, along with Tennessee Wesleyan and Concordia, who are playing extremely well. It will be an exciting week of baseball and it will be a major test for each team.”
The No. 5 Flames and No. 4 Pilots are no strangers when it comes to battles on the baseball diamond. Lee holds a 5-2 advantage in previous meetings (most coming in old Region XIII play).
“On paper LSU-S looks very impressive,” pointed out Brew. “Coach (Rocky) Musgraves does an excellent job with his team and they are traditionally very aggressive offensively. They have hit 88 home runs, and have a speed element to their team as well, with 136 stolen bases.”
No doubt the Pilot batters are willing to take an inside pitch for the team. “One thing they really do that frustrates opponents is batters being hit an unbelievable 125 times this year as a team,” said Brew. “We will have to get solid pitching and minimize defensive mistakes against them to be successful. I like the way we have been swinging the bats and that will need to continue for us to have a chance to advance deep in the tournament.”
The first game of the World Series pits No. 8-seeded Faulkner (Ala.) against No. 9-seeded Concordia (Calif.) on May 27 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT). The winner of that game will face No. 1 Embry-Riddle on May 28.
No. 4 LSU Shreveport (La.) will battle No. 5 Lee in the second game of the day. No. 3 Oklahoma Baptist and No. 6 Lubbock Christian (Texas) follow at 6 p.m. No. 7 Lewis-Clark State and No. 10 Tennessee Wesleyan face off in the nightcap at 10:30 p.m. The winner of that contest takes on No. 2 Oklahoma City on May 28.
Faulkner, the only other team representing the SSAC, is making its first World Series appearance after winning the Kingsport bracket on Monday. The Eagles were the final team to punch their ticket to Lewiston. Earlier in the day, Oklahoma Baptist waited nearly 48 hours through a rain delay to win the Joliet (Ill.) bracket. The Bison outlasted Biola (Calif.), 13-1 in the championship game.
Lewis-Clark State owns the most wins all-time in the history of the event with a 118-35 record in 29 previous all-time appearances. The Warriors own an NAIA-record 16 titles. Oklahoma City is making its 13th trip and fourth-straight while Embry-Riddle is the other team with its 10th-plus trip. The Eagles are 16-18 overall in nine previous appearances.
Defending national champion Cumberland (Tenn.) did not advance out of the National Championship Opening Round after losing to Tennessee Wesleyan in the Paducah (Ky.) Bracket.
The World Series is a double-elimination tournament with the winner being crowned either June 2 or June 3, dependent upon if the champion team has to play in the loser or winner's bracket. For ticket information in Lewiston, contact the Lewis-Clark State ticket booth at 208-792-2471.
The World Series will be video-streamed live by NeuLion. Users can purchase the All-Tournament pass, which includes every game for $24.95, or the day pass for $8.95. All Lee games will be carried by WCLE radio and streamed around the world by Stretch Internet. Go to Lee's athletic website page for more information.