NAIA teams travel the distance to compete at the NAIA World Series

NAIA teams travel the distance to compete at the NAIA World Series »Play Video
Despite the distance, teams said they feel right at home.
LEWISTON, ID - Teams travel long distances year after year for the chance to be NAIA world champions.

Reporter Sophia Miraglio is at Harris Field where she catches up with two of the last three teams standing.

There's three teams left in this years series, of course you have your hometown Warriors but for Cumberland and Oklahoma Wesleyan their journey to get here began thousands of miles away. But despite the distance the two teams said they feel right at home.

Going the distance for the sport you love has a meaning of it's own when you talk in terms of miles.

"This is my very first time at something this big," said Oklahoma Wesleyan Baseball Pitcher, Samuel Haynes. "Coming from a small town in Texas this is huge compared to what we have back home."

"It looks very different, we don't have the background that this place has," said OK. Wesleyan Baseball Player, C.J. Gregory. "It's gorgeous."

"Were in Tennessee and it's pretty country out there too," said Cumberland University Pitcher, Kevin Greene. "But there's something different about here. It's a special place."

A place where only one team can be champion in a game that brings happiness as well as sadness. But as Babe Ruth once said...Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.

"We just keep hoping we can keep going and keep playing," said Cumberland Baseball Head Coach, Woody Hunt.

Number ten Cumberland University traveled more than 2,000 miles. However, Coach Woody Hunt said he would have it no other way.

"I think Lewiston is the place it should be, there's no community or no town across the country that can do what you do here," said Hunt.

Not one player on Cumberland's roster has ever been to the series, but they learned all about it from day one.

"It's great that we get to come here and play in the world series," said Greene. "Coach Hunt preaches to us about what it is to come here and play and we've finally got to feel that this year."

For Oklahoma Wesleyan this is their first ever appearance to a world series, and they're embracing it all.

"Very warm community, everybody talks to you," said Gregory. "Asks where your from, what you're doing what position you play."

"We just walk in the gate and a lot of little kids come running up, sign this, sign this," said Haynes. "Everybody just loves us here, it's been great."

For both teams their journey started far away and will play out on the diamond here at Harris Field.

"I told them how great Lewiston was and how great the series was and now they believe it," said Hunt.

Between tournament play, teams have been able to do a little sightseeing, Cumberland Pitcher Kevin Greene said that his team headed over to Hell's Gate State Park to barbecue, and he loved just being next to the river.

Cumberland will play for the title game tomorrow (Friday) night.