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From Little League to the Major Leagues – MLB – every level has a world series. For the NAIA it is the Avista NAIA Baseball World Series.
"It has always been a dream of mine to play in a world series at any level," said Georgetown College senior Justin Moore.
His dream came true this past Thursday when the No. 5 Tigers won four games in 29 hours, three in back-to-back-to-back fashion, to be one of 10 teams in Lewiston, Idaho – the site of the 2014 Avista NAIA Baseball World Series.
There are several ways to follow Georgetown as the trek to a national title begins Friday. GC faces Faulkner University 3 pm EST Friday. Follow GCAthletics on twitter for in-game updates. Live stats are available here. A paid video link is here. A free audio broadcast is here.
If the Tigers advance to the semifinals all remaining games will be available on ESPN3.
Moore, a Los Angeles, Calif. native learned early on of the mystic that is the ultimate tournament at any level. California consistently sends little league programs to Williamsport, Penn. the hotbed for the Little League World Series. However, it was not until his senior year in college did that childhood dream get realized.
He is one of 25 young men playing for the Tiger baseball program, wearing the Orange & Black in Lewiston.
"It is exciting and a bit surreal, but we have to put all that behind us and focus on the task at hand," Moore said. "We are one of the best 10 teams in the country so competition will be fierce here, starting with the defending national champions Faulkner."
Georgetown saw the Eagles in live action in 2013 on their way to winning the regional in Alabama and booking a ticket to Idaho.
"For those of us there, players to coaching staff, we saw what it would take and now we are here too," Moore said.
Nine of the top 10 teams in the final NAIA Coaches' Poll are in Lewiston. The lone team outside of that is Mid-South Conference foe Cumberland University. The Bulldogs come in ranked 23rd, but are much better than the poll would lead anyone to believe. They beat the No. 7 team in the country in the opening round to be the lone non-one seed to advance. They are the only team to hold a winning record against the No. 5 Tigers (46-9) this season. CU is 4-2 against Georgetown.
"This is a great field at this year's tournament," said GC coach Micah Baumfeld. "Everything will be a battle and we couldn't be more excited to be here representing Georgetown."
The last time Georgetown made it to the world series was back in 1988, also a trip to Idaho. The Tigers lost to hometown favorite Lewis-Clark State in the first game, 8-6. However, they rallied for wins over Winona State, 10-3, and Central Washington State, 5-4. This put them in a rematch with L-C. The Warriors won again, ending Georgetown's season. Lewis-Clark won it all that year.
The Tigers finished fifth and made a long-standing mark in the NAIA history book. They turned a rare triple play, were at the time only the second team to do so and now only three teams have done it.
"I was only seven when that happened and none of our players were born yet," Baumfeld said. "However, at Georgetown baseball is a tradition and it is pretty inspiring to be connected to that group."
Richard Fuller, a freshman on that team and part of the triple play, was inducted in to the Georgetown College Athletic Hall of Fame this past Saturday.