Avista-NAIA World Series Preview: Tennessee Wesleyan

Avista-NAIA World Series Preview: Tennessee Wesleyan

Avista-NAIA World Series

LEWISTON, Idaho. -- The Bellevue University baseball team, after picking up a thrilling 6-5 10-inning victory in their first game in Lewiston on Friday, continues their quest for an NAIA National Championship at the 2016 Avista-NAIA World Series.

Bellevue is making their 13th appearance in the World Series, and their first since 2008. The 3rd-seeded Bruins take on 2nd-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan at 3 p.m. local time (5 p.m. CT) on Monday in a winner's bracket 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.).

Eight teams remain after Science & Arts and Point were both eliminated on Saturday. Two other teams will also be sent home packing Monday ahead of Bellevue's second game of the tournament.

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.

Friday's match-up:

No. 3 Bellevue (52-10/20-3 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. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan (49-13/23-4 AAC) claimed championships in both the Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular-Season and Tournament to claim a bid to the National Tournament. The Bulldogs won the Opening Round Kingsport Bracket, which was played in their home state. TWC is playing their best ball over the past month and a half, posting a 27-4 mark since Apr. 2.

Notes:

  • Bellevue and Tennessee Wesleyan have never met on the baseball diamond.
  • Including this NAIA World Series appearance (their 13th in program history), the Bruins have racked up 18 victories, including the 1995 National Championship.
  • The Bruins are 7-6 in their opening game at the World Series.
  • Historically, Bellevue has struggled in their second game of the NAIA World Series, owning a 3-9 mark in 12 game two's.

Players to Watch:

No. 3 Bellevue –

  • Sr. RHP Aaron Bain (4-1, 4.40 ERA, 37 SO, 47.0 IP)
  • Sr. 2B Ross Feeley (.340/.455/.368, 6 XBH, 26 RBI, 56 Runs, 9 SB)
  • Sr. OF Trevor Jones (.393/.445/.496, 15 XBH, 41 RBI, 60 Runs, 9 SB)
  • Sr. 1B Joe Mancuso (.391/.489/.673, 14 XBH, 33 RBI, 25 Runs)
  • Sr. OF Colton Nash (.336/.383/.447, 19 XBH, 45 RBI, 51 Runs)
  • Sr. RHP Leland Tilley (10-1, 8 Saves, 1.66 ERA, 40 SO, 38.0 IP)
  • Sr. LHP Braulio Torres-Perez (10-1, 2.88 ERA, 92 SO, 97.0 IP)
  • Jr. OF Derik Bontempo (.421/.470/.662, 32 XBH, 76 RBI, 51 Runs)
  • Jr. C Jake Browne (.337/.415/.446, 10 XBH, 40 RBI, 16 Runs)
  • Jr. RHP Ben McKendall (11-2, 1.95 ERA, 119 SO, 110.2 IP)
  • Jr. OF Joe Moran (.469/.484/.671, 18 XBH, 23 RBI, 43 Runs, 9 SB)
  • Jr. RHP/1B Todd Nicks (11-1, 2.20 ERA, 91 SO, 82.0 IP)

No. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan –

  • Sr. RHP Reed Bright (1-2, 1.82 ERA, 4 Saves, 47 SO, 34.2 IP)
  • Sr. LHP Dillon Dove (3-0, 2.02 ERA, 23 SO, 35.2 IP)
  • Sr. LHP Ryan Hartman (10-0, 0.67 ERA, 126 SO, 94.1 IP)
  • Sr. RHP Diego Ibarra (10-2, 2.09 ERA, 87 SO, 81.2 IP)
  • Sr. IF Wardy Polanco (.355/.430/.659, 30 XBH, 50 RBI, 65 Runs, 34 SB)
  • Sr. IF Cody Stroud (.303/.411/.523, 19 XBH, 34 RBI, 37 Runs, 8 SB)
  • Jr. IF Pedro Barrios (.389/.452/.507, 18 XBH, 36 RBI, 49 Runs, 29 SB)
  • Jr. OF Omar Gomez (.352/.395/.559, 18 XBH, 30 RBI, 30 Runs)
  • Jr. C Paolo Montezuma (.398/.514/.632, 15 XBH, 46 RBI, 26 Runs)
  • So. OF Alfred Cruz (.308/.370/.528, 24 XBH, 41 RBI, 49 Runs, 13 SB)
  • So. RHP Danny Guido (3-1, 1.81 ERA, 56 SO, 44.2 IP)

What's Next?:

The winner of this game between Bellevue and Tennessee Wesleyan advances to the winner's bracket final where they will face off against the winner of the game between Faulkner and Lewis-Clark State. The loser will drop to the loser's bracket where they'll face the winner of the game between Lindsey Wilson and Auburn Montgomery.

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

Monday Schedule (Note: all times Pacific):

Game 9: No. 7 Sterling vs. No. 9 The Master's, 9 a.m. (Elimination Game)
Game 10:
No. 6 Auburn Montgomery vs. No. 8 Lindsey Wilson, 12 p.m. (Elimination Game)
Game 11:
No. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan vs. No. 3 Bellevue, 3 p.m.
Game 12: No. 1 Faulkner vs. No. 4 Lewis-Clark State, 6:30 p.m.

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