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Westmont Named a Host Site for NAIA Baseball Tournament Opening Round

Westmont’s Russ Carr Field has been named one of nine sites to host an NAIA Opening Round Baseball Tournament. This is the first time in program history that Westmont will serve as host. The past two seasons, the Warriors have played in the Opening Round Tournament hosted by Georgia Gwinnett outside of Atlanta.

“This is a considerable tribute to what our team and coaching staff has accomplished this year and all the years leading up to it,” said Westmont athletic director Dave Odell. “We are pleased to bring the NAIA tourney to our wonderful city. The quality of baseball is phenomenal and we look forward to welcoming not only teams from around the country to our campus, but the greater Santa Barbara community as well.”

The nine sites that will host five-team, double-elimination Opening Round Tournaments are:

    · Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.)
    · Davenport (Mich.)
    · Faulkner (Ala.)
    · Georgia Gwinnett
    · Jamestown (N.D.)
    · Kingsport Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Appalachian Athletic Conference (Tenn.)
    · Tabor (Kan.)
    · South Carolina Beaufort
    · Westmont

The tournament held at Westmont will be known as the Santa Barbara Bracket. The four other teams participating in the event will be announced on Friday, May 13 following the conclusion of conference tournaments around the country.

“Hosting the Opening Round is an incredible honor,” said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. “I am proud of the work that our players have put in to earn this opportunity. It is our hope and expectation that we will represent our program, the college and the NAIA National Tournament very well. We couldn’t be more excited to host playoff baseball in Santa Barbara.”

Santa Barbara Bracket play begins with three games on Tuesday, May 17. Three more games are scheduled for Wednesday. May 18 and two games will be played on Thursday, May 19. If needed, a single game will be played on Friday, May 20. Game times have not yet been announced.

The nine winners of each of the Opening Round Tournaments will advance to the NAIA World Series, where they will be joined by host Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). The ten-team double elimination tournament begins on Friday, May 27 in Lewiston, Idaho.

Westmont is currently in first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference with a GSAC record of 20-4 and an overall mark of 36-7. The Warriors have a one-game lead over Vanguard (34-10-1 overall, 19-5 GSAC) with six games remaining in the regular season.

If the Warriors win the GSAC regular season title, they will also serve as hosts of the GSAC Tournament, which runs from Monday, May 9 through Thursday, May 12.

Today and Saturday, the Warriors host GSAC rival Biola in a three-game series at Russ Carr Field.

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