The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released the list of host sites for the sixth annual NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, the national office announced Tuesday. The event will be played May 12 – 15 and feature nine, five-team double elimination tournaments. The 45 qualifiers and brackets for the event will be announced on May 9.
Embry-Riddle (Fla.) owns the longest tenure among the group, hosting its sixth-straight Opening Round. The Eagles have advanced to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series in each of the five previous seasons.
The Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) will be hosting an Opening Round for the fourth-straight season. Three different teams have won an Opening Round title in Kingsport, Tenn., including Avista-NAIA World Series champion Tennessee Wesleyan in 2012. Missouri Baptist claimed the berth to the World Series last year.
Belhaven (Miss.), the Crossroads League, Faulkner (Ala.), Tabor (Kan.) and The Master’s (Calif.) are hosting for the second time.
This year’s first-time hosts are: Georgia Gwinnett and Oklahoma Baptist.
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 host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) to make up the field at the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho, May 23 – 30.
For the complete opening round schedule, click here<http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=209257584>.