2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? No. 5
By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Despite movement throughout the poll for a fifth-consecutive week, Faulkner (Ala.) held strong as the No. 1 team in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles totaled 559 points, aided by receiving 18 of a possible 20 first place votes. The top billing is the seventh all-time for Faulkner.
The Eagles, who are searching for their second Avista-NAIA World Series title in the last three seasons, are 7-4 in their last 11 games, including a three-game sweep of Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) rival Bethel (Tenn.) this past weekend.
Faulkner features one of the NAIA’s top pitching staffs, ranking fourth nationally in opponent batting average (.211) and fifth in ERA (2.45). Left-handed hurler Victor Arche is the team leader in wins with eight and second in innings pitched (56.0). The Miami, Fla., native has gone at least seven innings in his last three starts – all wins.
Next up for the Eagles is a date with No. 10 Tennessee Wesleyan on Wednesday.
The remainder of the top five each jumped one spot from the March 31 edition – No. 2 Davenport (Mich.) (538 points), No. 3 Northwood (Fla.) (520 points), No. 4 Oklahoma City (496 points) and No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett (488 points).
Davenport garnered the final two first-place votes en route to the highest ranking in program history. The Panthers had only been ranked twice prior to this season – both coming in 2014. Davenport has won 22-straight games with its last loss coming on Feb. 27 against NCAA Division II Ashland (Ohio), 3-2, on Feb. 27.
In total, only five teams held their positions from last week – Faulkner, Tennessee Wesleyan, No. 12 Westmont (Calif.), No. 21 Point Park (Pa.) and No. 22 Mobile (Ala.).
No. 20 Sterling (Kan.) jumped a poll-high four places after taking three-of-four against then-No. 2 Tabor (Kan.) last weekend. The losses dropped the Bluejays to No. 8 (tied). The six-spot slide ties Tabor with No. 19 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) for the farthest fall in the fifth regular-season edition.
No. 25 Peru State (Neb.) is the only newcomer this week. The ranking is the first-ever for the Bobcats, dating back to 2000.
The Golden State Athletic Conference, SSAC 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 sixth regular-season edition will be released on April 14.
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Notes (all information dates back to 2000): Faulkner, the 2013 World Series champion, holds the No. 1 ranking for the second-straight week … No. 7 Oklahoma Baptist held the top-spot for three weeks prior … Three teams have been ranked No. 1 this season – Faulkner, Oklahoma Baptist and Cumberland (Tenn.) … Ten different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000 … No. 19 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) leads all programs with 53 top mentions, while No. 4 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), Faulkner (7), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), former member Lee (Tenn.) (6), Cumberland (6) and Tennessee Wesleyan (2) … Lewis-Clark State has been ranked in a NAIA-best 141-straight polls.2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5 (April 7)
|RANK||PRVS||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2015 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Faulkner (Ala.) (18)||35-7||559|
|2||3||Davenport (Mich.) (2)||31-2||538|
|6||9||The Master’s (Calif.)||34-7||469|
|14||15||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||29-11||336|
|15||T16||LSU Shreveport (La.)||27-9||283|
|19||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||27-9||240|
|21||21||Point Park (Pa.)||24-5||208|
|23||20||St. Thomas (Fla.)||30-12||157|
|25||RV||Peru State (Neb.)||25-8||108|
Others receiving votes: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 76; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 65; Lyon (Ark.) 59; Doane (Neb.) 31; Southeastern (Fla.) 29; Union (Ky.) 29; York (Neb.) 23; Vanguard (Calif.) 14; Madonna (Mich.) 13; College of Idaho 11; St. Catharine (Ky.) 10; William Woods (Mo.) 7; LSU Alexandria (La.) 5; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 3.