By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lee (Tenn.) maintained the No. 1 ranking for the third-straight week in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the NAIA national office. The Flames gathered 15 first-place votes and 556 total points en route to their sixth all-time No. 1 rating. Three of the remaining top five all hold their spots in the third regular-season edition.
Lee, who is making its 67th-straight appearance in the Top 25, has won 10 of its last 11 games, including a sweep of Talladega (Ala.) last weekend. The Flames are 5-4 against ranked opponents this season and will host No. 9 Tennessee Wesleyan at 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. The two teams have split their two previous meetings this season.
Similarly to Lee, Oklahoma City lands in the No. 2 slot for the third-consecutive week with four first-place votes and 543 points. The Stars enter the week one-game in front of No. 5 Lubbock Christian (Texas) in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) standings with a 13-3 record. Oklahoma City is ranked in the top-10 nationally in eight offensive categories, including second in slugging percentage (0.527) and fifth in RBI (274). The Stars, who are 9-3 against ranked opponents, host Lubbock Christian in a key league series starting Friday at 3 pm. CDT.
No. 3 Faulkner (Ala.) captured 523 points. The Eagles entered the week with a NAIA-best 34 victories this season. Faulkner rests 0.5-game behind top-ranked Lee in the Southern States Athletic Conference standings with two conference series left to play in the regular season.
No. 4 Northwood (Texas), the frontrunner in the Red River Athletic Conference standings with an 18-3 record in the league, rounds out the quartet with one first-place vote and 501 points. The Knights have won 16 of their last 18 games, including two-of-three against No. 24 Bacone (Okla.) on April 5 – 6.
Lubbock Christian jumps one spot to No. 5 with 473 points after taking three-straight against then-No. 17 Oklahoma Baptist last weekend.
A pair of American Midwest Conference teams posted the poll’s largest movements this week. No. 17 Lyon (Ark.) highlighted the edition with a seven-spot improvement after winning three of a four-game set against then-No. 15 Missouri Baptist over the weekend. The result propelled the Scots to a one-game lead in the conference standings with two series left to play. On the contrary, Missouri Baptist suffered the largest fall, dropping eight positions to No. 23.
No. 25 Texas Wesleyan is the edition’s only newcomer, rejoining the poll for the first time since March 17, 2009. The Rams are 31-12 overall this season and 15-6 in the Red River Athletic Conference – three games behind conference leader Northwood.
Campbellsville (Ky.) – previously No. 21 – dropped from the poll. The Tigers had been ranked in both previous regular-season polls.
Thirteen of the 21 baseball conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four squads from the Sooner Athletic Conference – Oklahoma City, Lubbock Christian, No. 15 Rogers State (Okla.) and No. 20 Oklahoma Baptist.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The fourth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on April 16.
For a complete ratings calendar, click here.
For more information on NAIA baseball, click here.
Notes (All information dates back to 2000 season): Lee earned the No. 1 ranking for the sixth time in school history … The Flames had received the No. 1 rating in consecutive polls once prior to 2013 – April 12 and 19, 2011 … Lee has now been ranked for 67-straight polls, trailing only Lewis-Clark State’s (Idaho) streak of 123-consecutive, dating back to the start of the 2000 season … Eight other squads – Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Lubbock Christian (Texas), Oklahoma City, Faulkner (Ala.) Oklahoma Baptist, Concordia (Calif.), Tennessee Wesleyan and St. Thomas (Fla.) – own active streaks of at least 10-consecutive polls … Lewis-Clark State leads all teams with 53 all-time No. 1 mentions, followed by Oklahoma City (28), Lubbock Christian (13), Embry-Riddle (11), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), Lee (6) and Cumberland (Tenn.) (4) … Two different teams have been ranked No. 1 this season: Lee and Tennessee Wesleyan … No. 2 Oklahoma City has been rated within the top 10 in every poll since last going unranked on Nov. 8, 2008 (2009 Preseason Poll), a span of 38-straight Top 25’s … No. 25 Texas Wesleyan is ranked for the first time since being No. 16 on March 17, 2009 …Thirty-six programs have received Top 25 recognition this season.2012-13 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (April 9)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lee (Tenn.) (15)||33-8||556|
|2||2||Oklahoma City (4)||33-8||543|
|4||4||Northwood (Texas) (1)||32-8||501|
|5||6||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||31-9||473|
|6||7||The Master’s (Calif.)||32-11||472|
|7||5||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||29-9||453|
|11||11||Cal State San Marcos||26-6||373|
|15||13||Rogers State (Okla.)||25-10||275|
|16||18||William Carey (Miss.)||29-12||268|
|19||20||St. Thomas (Fla.)||30-12||238|
|22||25||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||30-14||176|
Others receiving votes: Georgetown (Ky.) 79; Science & Arts (Okla.) 78; Mayville State (N.D.) 63; San Diego Christian (Calif.) 52; Ave Maria (Fla.) 32; Belhaven (Miss.) 22; Tabor (Kan.) 22; Campbellsville (Ky.) 19; LSU Shreveport (La.) 16; Madonna (Mich.) 12; LSU Alexandria (La.) 11; Point Park (Pa.) 5.