KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Faulkner (Ala.) lands in the No. 1 position for the fifth-straight time in the second regular season edition of the 2014 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The defending national champions posted 19 of a possible 21 first-place votes and tallied 590 points. With a 30-7 record this year, Faulkner holds the longest streak of Nos. 1 since LSU Shreveport (La.) went six-consecutive weeks during the 2012 season.
The Nos. 2 - 4 ranked teams did not move from last week: No. 2 Oklahoma Baptist, No. 3 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and No. 4 Missouri Baptist. Both Oklahoma Baptist and the Warriors recorded one first-place nod apiece. No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett slides up one spot after earning its first-ever Top 25 ranking last week.
Prior to last week, No. 2 Oklahoma Baptist is enjoying its highest rankings since a No. 2 spot on April 12, 2006. The Bison went 22-0 before losing a game on the season. With 567 total points this week, Oklahoma Baptist leads the NAIA in four major offensive categories, which include batting average (.356), slugging percentage (.559), hits per game (11.3) and doubles per game (2.7).
No. 3 Lewis-Clark State checks in with 553 total points and a 24-5 record. The defending national runner-up has won five games in-a-row including a four-game sweep of Oregon Tech last weekend. The Warriors' average margin of victory against the Hustlin' Owls was over six runs.
With 515 points, Missouri Baptist has locked down the No. 4 spot in all three polls this year. The Spartans are No. 2 in the NAIA in home runs per game (1.03), led by the seven off the bat of Jeff Smith.
No. 6 Concordia (Calif.) jumped up six spots to post the best improvement within the poll. The Eagles have gone 11-2 in their last 13 contests to improve to 29-10 on the year.
Conversely, No. 14 The Master's (Calif.) and No. 17 Bellevue (Neb.) both suffered the worst drop of seven positions.
Three newcomers highlight this week's poll: No. 19 Doane (Neb.), No. 23 British Columbia (B.C.) and No. 25 Mobile (Ala.). Doane made an appearance last in the 2013 Preseason Poll on Nov. 13 (No. 23). British Columbia was last ranked on Nov. 15, 2012 at No. 20. Mobile is ranked for the first time since Nov. 11, 2009 (No. 9).
LSU Alexandria (La.) (No. 23), Northwestern (Iowa) (No. 18) and Wayland Baptist (Texas) (No. 20 - tie) all dropped out this week.
Thirteen of the 21 baseball conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four programs from the Golden State Athletic Conference – No. 6 Concordia, No. 8 San Diego Christian (Calif.), No. 14 The Master’s and No. 24 Vanguard (Calif.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The third regular-season Top 25 will be announced on April 8.
For the complete ratings calendar, click here.
For more information on NAIA baseball, click here.
Notes (all information dates back to 2000): Defending national champion Faulkner (Ala.) is making its fifth-straight appearance at No. 1 … Four teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2013: Faulkner, Oklahoma City, Tennessee Wesleyan and former-member Lee (Tenn.) … Nine different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000 … No. 3 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) leads all programs with 53 top mentions, while Oklahoma City is second with 31 … Seven other teams have been ranked No. 1 in at least two polls: former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) (13), Embry-Riddle (11), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), Lee (6), Cumberland (Tenn.) (4), Faulkner (4), and Tennessee Wesleyan (2) … Lewis-Clark State has been ranked in a NAIA-best 130-straight polls … The next closest active streak is owned by Embry-Riddle, who has received Top 25 mentions in 68-straight … Thirty-seven programs received Top 25 recognition in 2013 … No. 6 Georgia Gwinnett, which opened the year unranked, is making its first-ever appearance in the Top 25 … The Golden State Athletic Conference leads all leagues with four ranked teams.
2014 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (April 1)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Faulkner (Ala.) (19)||30-7||590|
|2||2||Oklahoma Baptist (1)||28-5||567|
|3||3||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (1)||24-5||553|
|7||9||LSU Shreveport (La.)||29-8||458|
|8||5||San Diego Christian (Calif.)||27-11||423|
|14||7||The Master's (Calif.)||27-10||370|
Others receiving votes: Northwestern (Iowa) 113; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 97; LSU Alexandria 96; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 52; Midland (Neb.) 42; Southern Poly (Ga.) 35; Brescia (Ky.) 33; Sterling (Kan.) 27; St. Thomas (Fla.) 26; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 25; Reinhardt (Ga.) 23; Jamestown (N.D.) 14; Point Park (Pa.) 9; Davenport (Mich.) 8; William Woods (Mo.) 6; Mayville State (N.D.) 3.