Greater Trail native Chris Kissock and his family took a journey back in time on Saturday.
The pitching ace and his 2007 Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) Warriors baseball team were inducted into the Lewis-Clark Hall of Fame in Lewiston, Idaho. Kissock reunited with his teammates from the 2007 NAIA World Series Championship team at a ceremony at the Clearwater Riverside Casino and Lodge Event Centre.
“We actually got to watch some games, attend the ceremony and hang out with all my old teammates,” said Kissock. “Just catching up with all the guys and reminiscing about all the stories, it was just a great weekend.”
The LCSC Warriors won a string of three straight NAIA championships from 2006-08, and Kissock was an integral part of the first two.
In 2006 Kissock went the distance in an epic 169-pitch performance in a 4-1 semifinal win over the University of British Columbia. LCSC then went on to beat Cumberland, Tenn. in a 5-4 extra innings tilt to win the 2006 World Series title.
“From my experience, the 2005 team had a lot of talent – a lot of guys went on to play in the big leagues – but we didn’t have the drive,” said Kissock, who attended LCSC from 2005-07. “In ‘06 we didn’t have a lot of talent, but we had the guys that worked hard, played our hearts out and we won that year.”
But the 2007 team was special.
“The 2007 team we had all the talent, and we had so much talent that everyone had to compete. There was always a guy behind you that was just as good, and we had coach Ed (Cheff) and he wasn’t afraid to put the next guy in. It forced us to be a very good team.”
The ‘07 LCSC Warriors finished the season with the best winning percentage (.921) in NAIA history, going 58-5 that season, while Kissock sported a 12-1 record as starter, his only loss a 1-0 defeat to Canadian rival UBC.
“We had the high-powered offence, but they didn’t support me that game,” joked Kissock.
The Warriors swept through to the 2007 NAIA World Series final, beginning with an 11-7 win over Lee University, then capped off the series with a 9-2 victory over Spring Arbor to capture the national title.
The Philadelphia Phillies draft pick was named NAIA All-American that year along with slugger Beau Mills, shortstop Mark Thompson, Brian Parker, Jesse Mier, and Matt Fitts.
“My whole experience at LCSC was amazing. They taught me how to be a competitor and I took that on to everywhere I went after that, even in life. “
Kissock also entered the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame with Team Canada in 2012 after winning a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Mexico and a bronze at the World Cup of Baseball in Panama. Kissock was instrumental in Team Canada’s 5-3 semi-final win over Mexico, coming in and closing out the last two innings to earn the save and send the Canadians to the championship game – a sweet 2-1 victory over the USA.
The 33-year-old savoured the latest LCSC Hall of Fame honour with his wife Shaunna and two sons, the occasion made even more poignant by the absence of his father Rick, who passed away in January.
“He would have been over the moon for that. It was a big loss for me, he was a good man and my number-1 fan.”
Kissock’s 2007 Warriors team enters the Hall along with teammate Mills, baseball players Lonnie and Monte Phillips, basketball standout Jasmine Stohr, and volleyball player Joy Dunn. Also inducted were the NAIA World Series championship teams from 1985 and 1988.