SPOKANE, Wash. – For the second time in three years Spokane has been selected as a location for an NCAA Division III baseball regional. Whitworth University and the Spokane Sports Commission will co-host the regional, which will take place May 17-20 at Avista Stadium.
Spokane hosted its first Division III baseball regional in 2016 at Avista Stadium. Trinity University (Texas) won the regional on the way to its first national title in the sport.
Spokane will host either six or eight teams at Avista. The venue is home to the Spokane Indians, a member of the Northwest League and the Class A Short Season minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The field is a natural grass and dirt surface with dimensions of 331 feet down the left field line, 398 feet to center field and 296 feet down the right field line. The stadium has a seating capacity of 6,803.
"We look forward to hosting this event and partnering with the Spokane Sports Commission," said Tim Demant, Whitworth's Director of Athletics. "I believe the high marks we received after initially hosting the regional in 2016 played a role in our ability to host again. We will work hard to provide the student-athletes with a high-level championship experience while providing Spokane fans with an opportunity to see some great collegiate baseball."
Tickets for the regional will be available at the gate. In accordance with NCAA guidelines, admission will be charged for all spectators. All-day admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children, students and senior adults. Small children 2 and under will be admitted for free.
The NCAA Division III tournament field will be announced on Monday, May 14. There will be eight regional sites. Six will be eight-team tournaments and two will field six teams. Regional winners advance to form the field for the 2018 NCAA Division III World Series May 25-29 in Appleton, Wisc.
With all Division III playoff sites determined in advance of the postseason by the NCAA, Spokane will stage the regional at Avista regardless of whether or not Whitworth is competing. The Pirates still must earn an invitation, either via an automatic berth awarded to the Northwest Conference Tournament champion or as an at-large representative.
The Bucs have played in three regionals since 2012. In 2012, Whitworth won a regional hosted by Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., before eventually finishing fifth at the Division III World Series. The Pirates also reached the regional in 2015 and in 2016, when Spokane last served as a host.