2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? No. 3
By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oklahoma Baptist locks down the No. 1 ranking for a third-consecutive week in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Bison accrued all 21 first-place votes and 591 points en route to the top spot in the third regular-season edition.
The Bison have won 28-straight to open the season and are the only unbeaten team remaining in NAIA baseball. Oklahoma Baptist faces arguably its toughest test of the season so far when it plays No. 4 Tabor (Kan.) Tuesday at 3 p.m. CDT. Much of the Bison’s success this season can be attributed to an offense that ranks among the top 10 in nine statistical categories, including toping the charts in batting average (.376) and slugging percentage (.564).
The remainder of the top five went unchanged for another week – No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.) (556 points), No. 3 Missouri Baptist (555 points), No. 4 Tabor (542 points) and No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett (512 points).
The Eagles of Faulkner have been in the No. 2 spot for three-straight installments and are 29-5 on the year. Faulkner and Georgia Gwinnett lock horns tonight at 7 p.m. CDT in another top-five showdown.
No. 13 Tennessee Wesleyan, No. 16 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 22 Mobile (Ala.) highlight the positive movement in this week’s poll, as all three programs jumped three places from the March 17 poll.
Conversely, No. 21 Sterling (Kan.) fell a poll-high six places. The Warriors dropped 3-of-4 games over the weekend to unranked Bethany (Kan.).
Four newcomers joined the Top 25 this week – No. 18 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 19 Campbellsville (Ky.), No. 24 Union (Ky.) and No. 25 Northwestern Ohio. Embry-Riddle and Campbellsville were both ranked earlier this season. Union’s most recent ranking came in 2014, while Northwestern Ohio is in the Top 25 for the first time, dating back to 2000.
The Southern States Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference each boast a poll-best three programs.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, the Association of Independent Institutions and the NAIA West Group. The fourth regular-season edition will be released on March 31.
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Notes (all information dates back to 2000): Oklahoma Baptist is making its third-straight appearance at No. 1 since the 2014 final regular season poll on May 9, 2014 … Overall, the Bison have been ranked No. 1 eight times …Oklahoma Baptist and defending national champion Cumberland (Tenn.) have topped the poll this season … Ten different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000 … No. 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) leads all programs with 53 top mentions, while No. 11 Oklahoma City is second with 31 … Eight other teams have been ranked No. 1 in at least two polls: former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) (13), Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (11), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), former member Lee (Tenn.) (6), Cumberland (6), Faulkner (5) and Tennessee Wesleyan (2) … Lewis-Clark State has been ranked in a NAIA-best 139-straight polls.2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (March 24)
|RANK||PRVS^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2015 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma Baptist (21)||28-0||591|
|8||6||The Master’s (Calif.)||27-7||474|
|9||10||LSU Shreveport (La.)||19-5||430|
|14||9||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||19-7||348|
|16||19||Auburn Montogmery (Ala.)||22-9||321|
|20||17||St. Thomas (Fla.)||23-8||199|
|23||24||Point Park (Pa.)||15-4||179|
Others receiving votes: Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 105; Judson (Ill.) 75; Doane (Neb.) 57; Bryan (Tenn.) 49; College of Idaho 43; Southeastern (Fla.) 31; William Woods (Mo.) 31; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 29; Cal State San Marcos 11; Belhaven (Miss.) 10; British Columbia 9; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 7; Morningside (Iowa) 6; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 5; Vanguard (Calif.) 5; York (Neb.) 5; St. Catharine (Ky.) 3; Madonna (Mich.) 3; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 3.