Chugiak’s Justin Nevells didn’t wilt under the bright lights of his first appearance in the NAIA Championships.
The Doane University freshman third baseman doubled in the winning run as the Tigers upset No. 14 Vanguard 3-1 in the opening round of the national tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.
The victory was the first NAIA tournament win since 2012 for Doane, snapping a five-game losing streak in the opening round.
Nevells finished 2-for-4, driving in the second run and scoring the third run as part of his team’s three-run second inning that carried the Tigers (38-12).
Doane lost 18-9 in the second round to No. 1-ranked Lewis-Clark State and will play an elimination game Thursday in the loser’s bracket.
Nevells is hitting .344 in 49 games with 7 home runs, 41 RBIs and 43 runs.
Before the national tournament, the Alaskan was named Second Team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference.