2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? No. 8
By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Georgia Gwinnett takes over the No. 1 ranking in the eighth regular-season edition of the 2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Grizzlies, who are topping the poll for the first time in program history, received 11 first-place votes and 576 points in the edition.
The final regular-season Top 25 Coaches’ Poll will be announced May 8 at 1 p.m. CDT with the 45 NAIA National Championship Opening Round qualifiers announced at 3 p.m. The brackets for the nine Opening Round host sites will be revealed via a video show at 6 p.m. on www.NAIANetwork.com.
Georgia Gwinnett has ranked among the top six teams all season. The Grizzlies enter the week with a 43-9 overall record and are the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Association of Independent Institutions tournament. Georgia Gwinnett owns one of the NAIA’s most dynamic offenses, leading the nation in hits (601), runs scored (470), RBIs (428) and stolen bases (185).
The Grizzlies close the regular season Tuesday night against Middle Georgia State.
The rest of the top five consists of No. 2 Oklahoma City (eight first-place votes and 568 points), No. 3 Oklahoma Baptist (544 points), No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) (one first-place vote and 521 points) and No. 5 Davenport (Mich.) (495 points).
No. 7 Tennessee Wesleyan – the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular-season champion – is the only team out of the top five to receive at least one first-place vote.
Previous No.1 Faulkner dropped a poll-high nine places to No. 10. The Eagles, who had been the top-squad for four-consecutive weeks, finished the regular-season 4-4 in their last eight games, including losses to Georgia Gwinnett (April 14), Tennessee Wesleyan (April 20) and No. 11 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (April 24). Faulkner is the No. 2 seed in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) tournament, which opens action Wednesday.
Auburn Montgomery highlighted the positive movement within the poll, jumping four places after ranking No. 15 in the last installment. The Warhawks’ previously mentioned win against Faulkner secured the program’s first SSAC regular-season title since sharing the honor in 2011.
There are no newcomers to the poll this week.
The Sun Conference – Northwood, No. 18 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 20 St. Thomas (Fla.) – and the Golden State Athletic Conference – No. 8 The Master’s (Calif.), No. 14 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 21 Concordia (Calif.) – lead all leagues with three teams represented.
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Notes (all information dates back to 2000): Georgia Gwinnett is making its first-ever appearance at No. 1 … the Grizzlies are only the 11th team to hold the No. 1 ranking since the start of the 2000 season … Four teams have been ranked No. 1 this year – Georgia Gwinnett, Faulkner (Ala.), Oklahoma Baptist and Cumberland (Tenn.) … Faulkner held the top-spot for four weeks prior to Georgia Gwinnett … No. 12 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) leads all programs with 53 top mentions, while No. 2 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 (8), 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 144-straight polls … Thirty-eight teams have been ranked in the Top 25 this season.2015 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 8 (April 28)
|RANK||PRVS||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2015 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Georgia Gwinnett (11)||43-9||576|
|2||3||Oklahoma City (8)||38-10||568|
|4||5||Northwood (Fla.) (1)||39-10||521|
|7||8||Tennessee Wesleyan (1)||37-10||485|
|8||8||The Master’s (Calif.)||41-10||467|
|11||15||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||36-16||389|
|12||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||40-10||382|
|13||12||LSU Shreveport (La.)||40-12||357|
|20||21||St. Thomas (Fla.)||38-13||218|
|22||23||Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio)||30-8||181|
|24||24||Point Park (Pa.)||36-11||146|
|25||25||William Woods (Mo.)||35-10||115|
Others receiving votes: York (Neb.) 110; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 77; LSU Alexandria (La.) 76; St. Catharine (Ky.) 34; Bryan (Tenn.) 32; Peru State (Neb.) 31; Southeastern (Fla.) 26; Vanguard (Calif.) 13; Madonna (Mich.) 11; Science & Arts (Okla.) 7; British Columbia 6; Mayville State (N.D.) 5; Lyon (Ark.) 5.