Baseball championship tournament comes to Victoria next week

Fans are expected to fill Riverside Stadium next week when the University of Houston-Victoria hosts the first-ever tournament to allow independent baseball teams the chance to compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series tournament.

The UHV Jaguars are seeded second out of four teams playing in the Association of Independent Institutions Baseball Championship Thursday through Saturday. The winner of the double-elimination tournament advances to the NAIA World Series.

“We’re not concerned about the seeding,” UHV head coach Terry Puhl said. “You’ve got to beat everybody to win the tournament anyway.”

The top-seeded Thomas University Night Hawks from Thomasville, Ga., will open the tournament at 3 p.m. Thursday against the LSU-Alexandria Generals. The Jaguars play their first game at 7 that night against the third-seeded Lambuth University Eagles from Jackson, Tenn.

Play will continue on Friday at 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. The championship game will start at 1 p.m. Saturday. (See bracket)

“This tournament will give fans a chance to experience topnotch baseball right here in Victoria and cheer on their hometown team,” UHV Athletics Director Ashley Walyuchow said.   Fans also are invited to watch the four tournament teams practice on Wednesday at Riverside Stadium.

 There is no charge to get into the following practices:

  • Noon-1 p.m. – UHV
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m. – LSU-Alexandria
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Thomas University
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Lambuth University

“We are delighted to have been selected to host the A.I.I. Baseball Championship, which will allow us to showcase to a national audience some of the exciting developments at UHV and the high-quality life we all enjoy here in Victoria,” UHV President Tim Hudson said.

“A number of community organizations and leaders, including our tournament organizing committee, the Friends of Victoria Baseball and the Victoria Parks and Recreation Department, have collaborated on this project. I know we are all looking forward to welcoming the players and their supporters.”

Tournament sponsors are the City of Victoria, JACO Industrial Supply, Lodestone Financial Services, Texas Roadhouse, Wells Fargo, First Victoria, McDonald’s,  Dick’s Food Store, Stewart Title, Cornerstone Properties, American Classifieds, Ford’s Pump Sales, the Victoria Generals, and Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer.

Tickets for the entire tournament are $35 for reserved seat passes and $25 for general admission passes. Individual game tickets are $10 for reserved seats and $5 for general admission. Jaguar season ticket holders who have not purchased tournament passes will need to buy tickets to get into the games.

Tickets are available from the UHV Athletics Office in the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., or by phone at 361-570-4336. Tickets also will be available at the stadium. The ticket office and gates will open an hour prior to game times.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ashley Walyuchow