Westmont College baseball, the fifth ranked team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), is headed back to the Avista NAIA World Series located in Lewiston, Idaho.
The Warriors punched their ticket to the tournament with a May 18 win over Benedictine Mesa in the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round Tournament. On Russ Carr Field, Westmont defeated the second-seeded university by a score of 10-1.
This year, the Warriors will be attempting to avenge their defeat from last year in the World Series. Last year was a Cinderella story that had the whole division talking, but now, the Warriors are ready to cement their names in the NAIA baseball world.
After the successful year, last year’s head coach Rob Ruiz stepped down to take the Athletic Director position at Westmont and Tyler LaTorre was named the new coach. In his first season, LaTorre led the Warriors to a 43-8 record, and now, he has a chance for the ring.
The Warriors have clearly dominated in the last year of the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), and after this year, the Warriors will transition to NCAA Division 2.
Until then, they have unfinished business.
Shortstop Robbie Haw and Pitcher Eric (Osy) Oseguera, two Westmont seniors, are leading the Warriors with pride as they finish out their Westmont baseball careers. Behind them is Chase Goddard, a second-year player who pitched a scoreless six innings against Benedictine Mesa. In those six innings, he only allowed three hits and set the Warriors up for success.
The Warriors will take on the University of Cumberlands from Kentucky in their first-round matchup on May 26. This is the first time these two teams have ever met up.
When talking to Sports Information Director Ron Smith, head coach LaTorre shared his vision for the future.
“The special thing about this team is that every week we got better and better and gelled further and further,” explained LaTorre. “You could see the belief coming into play and they started to believe that this is something that we could do. You could see it in the details at practice.”
The Patriots, a Mid-South Conference team, have an overall record of 49-6 and are coming into the World Series as the third ranked team in the NAIA.