The bracket has been revealed for the 2022 Avista NAIA Baseball World Series and Westmont has been named the sixth seed in the 10-team, double-elimination tournament. The World Series will take place at Harris Field on the campus of Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho, beginning on Friday.
The Westmont Warriors’ first opponent will be the hosts, who are the number three seed. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The match-up will be the fourth game of the first day of the tournament, so the start time could be delayed.
Westmont (45-11) and Lewis-Clark State (53-5) met on opening day of the 2022 season with the Warriors from Idaho prevailing 5-3. Freshman Bryan Peck made his collegiate debut for Westmont, and threw a one-hitter through five innings of work. He struck out nine and walked one.
The two teams have met on 10 occasions with Lewis-Clark State winning seven of those games, including the last three. Westmont last won in 2019 by a score of 7-1. In 2017, the Warriors from Montecito swept a doubleheader by scores of 6-4 and 4-3. The two teams have split six games at Westmont’s Russ Carr Field. Lewis-Clark State won the three games played at Harris Field – all in 2006 – and also won a neutral site game in Glendale, Arizona in 2020.
Lewis Clark State boasts nine hitters with a .300 batting average or better. Sam Linscott leads the team with a .396 average and .675 slugging percentage. The senior outfielder, who transferred to LCSC after his sophomore season, was named to the All-Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Team as well as to the CCC Gold Glove Team. Linscott has tallied nine home runs, three triples and 22 home runs.
Leading the team in slugging percentage is senior first baseman Luke White, who is also a junior transfer. White’s .681 slugging percentage is a result of a team-leading 19 home runs and 16 doubles this season. He has a batting average of .343 and is also a member of the All-CCC Team.
Other LCSC position players on the All-CCC Team include senior shortstop Riley Way (.349 average), sophomore outfielder Aiden Nagle (.340 average) and senior catcher Justin Mazzone (.359 average). Way and Mazzone are also members of the CCC Gold Glove Team.
Trent Sellers was named the CCC Pitcher of the Year with a record of 12-0 and an ERA of 2.00. Sellers pitched against the Warriors on January 27, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing one run on a Simon Reid solo home run. He struck out six and walked two. Sellers did not figure in the decision.
Sellers, a right-hander who transferred to LCSC from Washington State after his freshman year, has recorded 125 strikeouts while allowing 19 walks in 94 1/3 innings of work. He has one complete game in his 18 starts.
Joining Sellers on the All-CCC Team was senior Dawson Day (10-0) who sports an ERA of 2.21. Day, a sophomore transfer to LCSC, struck out 92 and walked 29 in 61 innings of work.
In his fourth season as head coach of the Lewis-Clark State team is Jake Taylor. A former LCSC player, Taylor has amassed a record of 148-31-1. Taylor, who was named the CCC Coach of the Year, has an NAIA postseason record of 7-4, including a 4-4 record in the World Series.
The winner between Westmont and Lewis-Clark State will not play again until Monday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. when they will face either second-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan (54-6), seventh-seeded Faulkner of Alabama (37-15) or 10th seeded Webber International of Florida (41-20.) The loser will play on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. against the loser between Faulkner and Webber International.
Westmont earned its berth in the 2022 World Series by winning the Santa Barbara Opening Round Bracket with a 12-0 victory over Antelope Valley on Wednesday. This is the first time in program history that Westmont has advanced to the NAIA World Series.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.