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Johnstown to Host WVIAC Baseball Championships

Johnstown to Host WVIAC Baseball Championships

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     The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) and the City of Johnstown (PA) have announced that the 2008-2010 WVIAC Baseball Championships will be played at the refurbished Point Stadium in downtown Johnstown.  This season's six-team, ten-contest event will take place May 2-4.  The champion earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship.  (WVIAC Web Story) 
     Point Stadium has hosted stars such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jackie Robinson in the ballpark's long history.  It has also served as the host of the All American Amateur Baseball Association's national tournament for over 60 seasons.
     An $11 million renovation has brought a new artificial turf playing surface, new seating areas, and electrical upgrades.  The unique facility is considered one of the top baseball facilities in the East and is highlighted by a 30-foot high left field wall that has been likened to Fenway Park's Green Monster.
     "Point Stadium and the city of Johnstown will provide a quality championship experience for our student-athletes," stated WVIAC commissioner Barry Blizzard.  "The renovations have created a great ballpark and the city has shown great enthusiasm to host the event."
     "This is what we had in mind when we built the stadium," said Johnstown Recreation Committee chairman and city council member Nunzio Johncola.  "This is great for the citizens of our city and area.  We want to utilize the stadium for many events."
     The WVIAC Baseball Championship has been hosted at Hunnicutt Field in Princeton, WV for the past 18 seasons.  The Princeton Rotary Club was the presenting sponsor for most of those events before declining to bid on future tournaments.
     "It's been a good run at Hunnicutt Field," continued Blizzard.  "We want to thank the Princeton Rotary Club and the staff at Hunnicutt for all of their work through the years.  We're going to miss them, but we're excited about the new possibilities that are in store for the tournament."
     The baseball facility at Pitt Johnstown will also be available as an alternate site.  The Mountain Cats, along with Western Pennsylvania neighbor Seton Hill, became the first non-West Virginia baseball members of the WVIAC in 2006.
     Pitt Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar spoke of the university's excitement of hosting a league championship.  "We are proud of our long-standing tradition of athletic excellence, and we are honored to serve as hosts for these championships.  As one of the newest members of the WVIAC, we look forward to welcoming the players, coaches, and their families to our picturesque campus and community."
     West Virginia State University is the event's defending champion.  The six-team field will consist of the top two teams in each of the conference's three divisions.  A modified double-elimination bracket is utilized for the tournament.
     The 16-team West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference currently boasts the largest membership of any NCAA Division II affiliated league.  The conference consists of members in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and was founded in 1924.  WVIAC student-athletes compete for championships in 16 sports.
Posted by Knipple, Robert on 1/8/2008 2:30:00 PM