KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After winning its first-ever national championship, Tennessee Wesleyan received the program's first No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, announced on Tuesday by the national office. The Bulldogs, who were previously winless at the Avista-NAIA World Series, scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn a 10-6 victory over Rogers State (Okla.) on June 1 to take home the title.
Tennessee Wesleyan claimed all 17 first-place votes and 467 total points en route to landing the top spot. The Bulldogs finished the World Series with a 6-1 record, aided by a tournament-best 11.3 runs per game average and .325 batting average. Additionally, the squad set an NAIA championship record with 17 home runs, including an individual record seven home runs by senior outfielder Jordan Guida. Guida received tournament Most Valuable Player honors for his performance.
National runner-up Rogers State was the biggest mover in this week's poll, rocketing up 21 spots to No. 2 with 450 points. The Hillcats, who were making their first appearance at the World Series, have never ranked higher than 11th. Rogers State quickly became a fan favorite in Lewiston, posting three come-from-behind victories en route to a 4-2 record.
No. 3 LSU Shreveport (La.) was dethroned from the top spot for the first time since March 27. The Pilots gathered 438 total points and finished third at the World Series for the second time in school history.
Rounding out the top five are Lee (Tenn.) at No. 4 with 404 total points and Oklahoma City at No. 5 with 394 total points, respectively. The Flames reached the semifinal round, but were eliminated following a 7-5 loss to Rogers State on May 30. The Stars fell out of World Series action on May 28 with a 5-4 loss to LSU Shreveport.
No. 10 College of Idaho and No. 23 Union (Tenn.) are the newcomers this week. The Coyotes reached the World Series after winning the Azusa Bracket, but went 0-2 in Lewiston with losses against No. 6 Point Park (Pa.) (7-3) and No. 8 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (5-1). Union nearly reached the championship game of the Hardeeville Bracket, but fell to No. 7 South Carolina Beaufort, 8-7.
Fifteen different conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll with the Southern States Athletic Conference and the Sooner Athletic Conference leading the pack with four teams, while the Sun Conference is third with three.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings.
Notes: (All information dates back to 2000 season) Tennessee Wesleyan earns the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history ... LSU Shreveport (La.) previously held the No. 1 ranking for six-straight polls ... Lee (Tenn.) has now been ranked for 62-consecutive polls ...The last time Lee went unranked was March 22, 2006 ... Lewis-Clark State (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 (Fla.) with 11, LSU Shreveport (La.) with six, 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.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||6||Tennessee Wesleyan (17)||53-12||467|
|2||23||Rogers State (Okla.)||49-16||450|
|3||1||LSU Shreveport (La.)||54-6||438|
|6||12||Point Park (Pa.)||53-11||394|
|7||15||South Carolina Beaufort||41-19||372|
|8||10||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||42-14||358|
|10||RV||College of Idaho||41-21||326|
|11||4||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||47-12||320|
|14||11||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||43-16||263|
|T15||12||St. Thomas (Fla.)||42-12||253|
|17||15||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||38-24||211|
|22||19||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||35-22||150|