Faulkner (Ala.) remains No. 1 in NAIA Top 25 Poll

By Spencer Scheve, Athletics Communications and Sports Media Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 12th time in program history, Faulkner (Ala.) claims the No. 1 position in the 2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles gathered all 18 first-place nods to go along with 498 total points in the second regular-season edition. The third regular-season ranking is scheduled to be released on April 4.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000)
• Faulkner (Ala.) boasts the No. 1 ranking for the second-consecutive poll.  The Eagles have now tallied 12 all-time top mentions, with a No. 1 position at least once in each of the past five seasons.
• The 28 wins accomplished by Faulkner this year is tied for the most in the NAIA – through games played Sunday, March 19. The Eagles are tied with Southeastern (Fla.) and Oklahoma City..
• The Eagles face Georgia Gwinnett next on March 24.
• Oklahoma City jumps into the No. 2 as it claims 479 points this poll. The Stars are an offensive powerhouse leading the NAIA in total doubles (105), total hits (377), total runs scored (287) and total runs batted in (287).
• Rounding out the top five is Oklahoma Wesleyan at No. 3 with 467 points, Southeastern at No. 4 with 444 points and Tennessee Wesleyan at No. 5 with 426 points.
• The only team to hold its ranking from the Coaches Top 25 poll on March 7 was No. 1 Faulkner.
• Five newcomers joined the Top 25 this week – No. 12 Webber International (Fla.), No. 14 Central Methodist (Mo.), No. 15 Texas Wesleyan, No. 24 Indiana Tech and No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.).
• Lewis-Clark State leads all active members with 58 total No. 1 mentions, dating back to 2000. Ten other teams have been ranked No. 1 in at least two polls: Oklahoma City (32), former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) (13), former member Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (11), Faulkner (12), Georgia Gwinnett (8), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), former member Lee (Tenn.) (6), Cumberland (Tenn.) (6) and Tennessee Wesleyan (2).
• The Sun Conference leads all leagues with four teams represented: No. 4 Southeastern, No. 11 Keiser (Fla.), No. 13 Webber International and No. 23 St. Thomas (Fla.). The Southern States Athletic Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference and Heart of America Athletic Conference each send three Top 25 teams into the poll. Overall, 12 of the 18 conferences are represented this week.

Poll Methodology
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• Frequency of polls occur by-weekly. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. This change allows raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work between ratings periods.
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.

2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (March 21) – No. 2

RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2017 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Faulkner (Ala.) (18) 26-3 498
2 4 Oklahoma City 28-4 479
3 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan 26-5 467
4 7 Southeastern (Fla.) 28-3 444
5 10 Tennessee Wesleyan 20-8 426
6 2 Georgia Gwinnett 23-8 419
7 6 Menlo (Calif.) 22-5 392
8 18 Bellevue (Neb.) 18-6 382
9 12 William Carey (Miss.) 22-5 374
10 9 Tabor (Kan.) 20-7 361
11 5 Keiser (Fla.) 21-10 313
12 8 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 13-8 307
13 NR Webber International (Fla.) 24-5 282
14 NR Central Methodist (Mo.) 21-4 280
15 NR Texas Wesleyan 20-7 267
16 11 Clarke (Iowa) 20-3 240
17 20 Northwestern Ohio 19-10 218
18 19 Middle Georgia State 23-8 211
19 14 Bryan (Tenn.) 21-9 199
20 17 Science & Arts (Okla.) 22-9 190
21 16 Vanguard (Calif.) 19-12 186
22 13 LSU Shreveport (La.) 20-8 185
23 22 St. Thomas (Fla.) 23-9 144
24 NR Indiana Tech 16-7 111
25 NR MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 14-5 110

Dropped from Top 25: No. 24 Reinhardt (Ga.); No. 15 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); No. 25 Mobile (Ala.); No. 23 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); No. 21 Westmont (Calif.)

Others receiving votes: .Cumberlands (Ky.) 93; Mayville State (N.D.) 74; Reinhardt (Ga.) 43; Friends (Kan.) 37; Columbia (Mo.) 34; Midland (Neb.) 33; Huntington (Ind.) 32; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 27; Hope International (Calif.) 25; Mobile (Ala.) 19; Davenport (Mich.) 16; Missouri Baptist 12; Sterling (Kan.) 5; IU Southeast 3

^From the 2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (March 7, 2017)