Lewiston, Idaho, probably wouldn’t make most college students’ top ten list of places in the United States they want to visit. But last May, when 25 Northwood Texas baseball players and their coaches thought about it, Lewiston was exactly where they wanted to be. In fact, this town of 35,000 on the Snake River had been on their mind since they had reported to campus back in the fall.
Lewiston, after all, is the host each year for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) World Series. “We had some lofty goals for this team,” Head Coach Jeremy Kennedy says. “Northwood has never made it all the way to the World Series, and we knew early on this team had a chance to be special. They were talented, had a good work ethic, and strong leadership. No question about it – they deserved to be one of only ten teams that made it to Lewiston.”
Not only did the Knights make it to the World Series, one of their pitchers threw a no-hitter that was just about the only thing anyone talked about for much of the week. Lefty Cody Faulkner threw 96 pitches, struck out one and walked two Sterling (Kansas) Warriors in facing just 28 batters. The win moved the gritty Irving, Texas southpaw to 7-2 on the season.
Faulkner’s gem was only the fourth no-hitter in the 57-year history of the NAIA World Series, and the first since 1992. Northwood was finally eliminated when host Lewis & Cark got the best of them before an standing room only crowd of 5,000. “We liked Lewiston just fine,” said Faulkner, who will return to the mound for the Knights next season. “We can’t wait to get back.” At season’s end, Northwood was ranked sixth nationally in the NAIA poll. – Jack Allday