By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fueled by a seven-game win streak, Lee (Tenn.) receives its second-straight No. 1 ranking in the 2013 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Flames received 15 first-place votes and 556 points en route to the top billing in the second regular-season edition.
Lee, who had only posted consecutive weeks at No. 1 once prior (April 12 and April 19, 2011), has outscored opponents 61-5 during its current win streak, which includes a 4-3 win over defending national champion and tenth-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan on March 27. The Flames enter the week leading the NAIA in earned run average (1.74) and opponent batting average (.193), while ranking in the top five in strikeouts (307), runs scored (286), RBI (257), hits per nine innings (10.6), slugging percentage (0.480), batting average (.330) and hits (392).
Oklahoma City, who has now been ranked in the top 10 in 37-straight polls, checks in at No. 2 with four first-place votes and 545 points. The Stars are 30-7 on the season and own a one-game advantage over No. 6 Lubbock Christian (Texas) in the heavily contested Sooner Athletic Conference. Oklahoma City opens this week Tuesday afternoon against Texas Wesleyan before a home series against Lubbock Christian April 12 and 13.
Faulkner (Ala.) is No. 3 with 523 points, while No. 4 Northwood (Texas) joins the top five for the first time in program history – dating back to 2000 – with one first-place vote and 467 points. The Knights, who vaulted six spots from No. 10 last week, are 29-7 this season, including three victories against Oklahoma City. No. 5 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) rounds out the top five with 465 points.
Similarly to last week, more than 20 teams shifted positions, led by Northwood’s previously mentioned six-spot leap from No. 10 to No. 4. Lubbock Christian (five places), No. 9 Bellevue (Neb.) (three places) and No. 16 York (Neb.) (four places) also posted positive movements of three-or-more.
On the other end of the spectrum, No. 11 Cal State San Marcos slid a poll-high eight places from No. 3 a week ago, while Rogers State dropped seven positions from No. 6 to No. 13.
No. 25 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is the edition’s lone newcomer. The Blue Raiders, who were ranked earlier this season as part of the Preseason Poll, have won 10-straight and are in third-place behind No. 14 Cumberland (Tenn.) and No. 21 Campbellsville (Ky.) in the Mid-South Conference standings.
Science & Arts (Okla.) – previously No. 22 – dropped from the Top 25 this week.
Thirteen of 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, Rogers State and No. 17 Oklahoma Baptist. The Southern States Athletic Conference and Mid-South Conference are tied for second with three teams each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The third regular-season Top 25 will be announced on April 9.
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Notes (All information dates back to 2000 season): Lee earned the No. 1 ranking for the fifth 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 66-straight polls, trailing only Lewis-Clark State’s (Idaho) streak of 122-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 (5) 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 37-straight Top 25’s … Thirty-five programs have received Top 25 recognition this season.2012-13 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (April 2)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lee (Tenn.) (15)||30-7||556|
|2||2||Oklahoma City (4)||30-7||545|
|4||10||Northwood (Texas) (1)||29-7||467|
|5||7||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||27-8||465|
|6||11||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||27-8||447|
|7||5||The Master’s (Calif.)||27-11||441|
|11||3||Cal State San Marcos||22-5||405|
|13||6||Rogers State (Okla.)||24-8||360|
|18||19||William Carey (Miss.)||26-11||261|
|20||16||St. Thomas (Fla.)||29-12||219|
|25||RV||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||25-13||103|
Others receiving votes: Texas Wesleyan 76; Science & Arts (Okla.) 63; Mayville State (N.D.) 49; Webber International (Fla.) 47; Indiana Tech 45; Georgetown (Ky.) 32; Arizona Christian 24; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 20; Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 16; LSU Shreveport (La.) 15; San Diego Christian (Calif.) 9; LSU Alexandria (La.) 9; Belhaven (Miss.) 5; Doane (Neb.) 3; St. Francis (Ill.) 3.