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Baseball Top 25 Poll No. 1

March 27, 2012
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lee (Tenn.) jumped two positions to claim the No. 1 spot in the first regular-season edition of the 2012 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA announced Tuesday. The Flames, who were listed third in the preseason poll on Nov. 15, tallied 13 first-place votes and 554 points en route to the top spot. Lee boasts a NAIA-best 33 wins on the season and is ranked No. 1 for the first time since April 19, 2011.

As a team, the Flames rank amongst the top three nationally in hits (393), runs scored (300), RBIs (282), strikeouts (331), earned run average (2.27), opponent batting average (.209) and total at bats (1,198).

LSU Shreveport (La.) leapfrogged from the sixth position to No. 2 with 536 points and three first-place votes, while preseason No. 1 Oklahoma City fell to No. 3 with one first-place vote and 511 points, respectively.

Previously unranked Azusa Pacific rockets to No. 5 with 485 points and three first-place votes, marking the first top-five ranking for the Cougars since May 7, 2008. Azusa Pacific is 24-6 on the season and 13-2 in Golden State Athletic Conference action, including three wins against preseason No. 2 Concordia (Calif.).

No. 8 Faulkner (Ala.) was the only team to maintain its preseason spot as four teams improved position, nine dropped from the Top 25 Poll and 11 teams garnered their first national ranking of the season. Tennessee Wesleyan highlighted the movers by jumping 11 spots from No. 18 to No. 7 with 450 points, while Cumberland (Tenn.) suffered the steepest fall, plummeting from No. 7 to unranked. Lubbock Christian (Texas) and Concordia, who were also preseason top-seven programs, dropped to 11th and 14th this week.

No. 17 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 23 Cal State San Marcos and No. 24 Judson (Ill.) are appearing in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the first time in program history.

Previously unranked teams included in this week’s Top 25 include: Azusa Pacific, No. 9 Point Park (Pa.), No. 10 Spring Arbor (Mich.), No. 12 St. Thomas (Fla.), No. 13 Campbellsville (Ky.), Georgetown, No. 18 Bethel (Tenn.), No. 21 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), No. 22 College of Idaho, Cal State San Marcos and Judson.

Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll with the Southern States Athletic Conference boasting the most ranked teams with five, while the Sooner Athletic Conference is second with three.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings. The Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be released on April 3.

Notes: (All information dates back to 2000 season) Lee earned the No. 1 ranking for the third time and has now been ranked for 55-consecutive polls …The last time Lee went unranked was March 22, 2006 … Lewis-Clark State’s (Idaho) leads all teams with 53 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by Oklahoma City’s 28 … Lubbock Christian Texas comes in third with 13 appearances, followed by Embry-Riddle with 11, Cumberland (Tenn.) with four and Lee with three… Oklahoma City last went unranked in the 2009 preseason poll, but has been rated no lower than seventh since then … No. 14 Concordia (Calif.) has vaulted into the Top 25 for the second time since being ranked No. 15 on March 7, 2007 … No. 7 Tennessee Wesleyan is ranked for the second time since the first regular-season poll of last season … No 17 Georgetown, No. 23 Cal State San Marcos and No. 24 Judson (Ill.) are each making their first appearances in the Top 25 … Azusa Pacific’s No. 5 ranking marks the first time the Cougars have been ranked amongst the top five since May 7, 2008.

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2012 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 3 Lee (Tenn.) (13) 33-4-1 554
2 6 LSU Shreveport (La.) (3) 26-3 536
3 1 Oklahoma City (1) 25-6 511
4 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 26-9 486
5 RV Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (3) 24-6 485
6 9 Oklahoma Baptist 27-5 464
7 18 Tennessee Wesleyan 26-6 450
8 8 Faulkner (Ala.) 28-9 415
9 RV Point Park (Pa.) 22-3 403
10 NR Spring Arbor (Mich.) 19-2 351
11 4 Lubbock Christian (Texas) 21-10 349
12 RV St. Thomas (Fla.) 26-6 343
13 RV Campbellsville (Ky.) 23-6 331
14 2 Concordia (Calif.) 20-11 322
15 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 21-8 311
16 13 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 23-14 282
17 NR Georgetown (Ky.) 26-4 244
18 NR Bethel (Tenn.) 19-10 227
19 24 Northwood (Texas) 18-8-1 205
20 21 Southern Poly (Ga.) 24-11 166
21 NR Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 23-12 163
22 NR College of Idaho 22-9 153
23 RV Cal State San Marcos 19-11 147
24 NR Judson (Ill.) 21-6 111
25 15 Belhaven (Miss.) 25-12 106
 

Others receiving votes: Sterling (Kan.) 102; Northwestern Ohio 83; South Carolina Beaufort 81; Biola (Calif.) 67; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 64; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 52; Missouri Baptist 51; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 46; Tabor (Kan.) 36; Cumberland (Tenn.) 21; Avila (Mo.) 21; York (Neb.) 19; Bryan (Tenn.) 14; British Columbia 11; Davenport (Mich.) 11; Texas at Brownsville 6; Doane (Neb.) 6; Shorter (Ga.) 5; Taylor (Ind.) 5; Union (Tenn.) 5; Talladega (Ala.) 4; The Master’s (Calif.) 4; St. Gregory’s (Okla.) 3; Iowa Wesleyan 1; Northwestern Oklahoma State 1; Rogers State (Okla.) 1; Madonna (Mich.) 1; William Woods (Mo.) 1.