Faulkner claims No. 1 ranking for third-straight poll

By Alan Grosbach, Associate Director of Athletics Communications and Media
Photo provided by Faulkner Athletics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Faulkner (Ala.) owns the No. 1 ranking in the third regular-season installment of the 2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles gathered 13 of the 18 available first-place votes and 494 total points en route to their third-consecutive top billing. The fourth regular-season edition will release on April 18.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000)
• Faulkner (Ala.) owns the No. 1 ranking for the 13th time in program history and third-straight time this season. Prior to their current reign at No. 1, the Eagles had not held the top-spot since March 22, 2016. Faulkner has landed in the top-spot in each of the past five seasons.
• The Eagles have won 13 of their last 14 games with the only loss coming to Loyola (La.), 5-3, in game one of a three game series over the weekend. That defeat is the first for Faulkner in Southern States Athletic Conference play, as the club boasts an 11-1 record – 1.5 games ahead of the second place teams.
• The Eagles return to the field Tuesday with a non-conference double-header against Point (Ga.).
• Oklahoma City locks down the No. 2 ranking for a second-consecutive week. The Stars, who claimed five first-place votes, is second nationally with 35 wins this season. Oklahoma City enters the week riding a 16-game winning streak. Next up for the Stars is a three-game set against Texas Wesleyan on Friday and Saturday.
• No. 3 Southeastern (Fla.), No. 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan and No. 5 Bellevue (Neb.) make up the remainder of the top five this installment. The Fire and Eagles swap places from last edition, while Bellevue jumped three spots from its No. 8 perch on March 21.
• No. 11 Clarke (Iowa) and No. 19 Indiana Tech each jumped a poll-best five places this week.
• Conversely, defending national champion Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) dropped six spots from No. 12 to No. 18. The Warriors have lost three out of their last five games – all coming against British Columbia.
• Three newcomers joined the poll in No. 22 Missouri Baptist, No. 23 Sterling (Kan.) and No. 25 Cumberlands (Ky.). The Patriots are ranked for the first time since holding the No. 20 position on Feb. 24, 2009.
• 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), Faulkner (13), former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) (13), former member Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (11), Georgia Gwinnett (8), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), former member Lee (Tenn.) (6), Cumberland (Tenn.) (6) and Tennessee Wesleyan (2).
• Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, The Southern States Athletic Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference lead all leagues with three teams each.
• Fourteen-of-18 conferences have at least one school represented in the poll.

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 (April 4) – No. 3

RANK PRVS SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2017 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Faulkner (Ala.) (13) 33-4 494
2 2 Oklahoma City (5) 35-4 485
3 4 Southeastern (Fla.) 36-3 465
4 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan 33-7 450
5 8 Bellevue (Neb.) 28-6 434
6 5 Tennessee Wesleyan 26-11 404
7 10 Tabor (Kan.) 27-8 398
8 6 Georgia Gwinnett 27-12 377
9 7 Menlo (Calif.) 26-8 366
10 14 Central Methodist (Mo.) 24-5 349
11 16 Clarke (Iowa) 26-5 319
12 15 Texas Wesleyan 26-9 318
13 17 Northwestern Ohio 26-10 299
14 9 William Carey (Miss.) 25-10 298
15 13 Webber International (Fla.) 28-8 283
16 11 Keiser (Fla.) 26-13 273
17 18 Middle Georgia State 29-10 223
18 12 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 19-12 215
19 24 Indiana Tech 26-7 194
20 19 Bryan (Tenn.) 24-12-1 180
21 20 Science & Arts (Okla.) 25-12 168
22 RV Missouri Baptist 23-10 153
23 RV Sterling (Kan.) 23-9 125
24 23 St. Thomas (Fla.) 28-12 111
25 RV Cumberlands (Ky.) 27-10 103

Dropped from Top 25: Vanguard (Calif.) (No. 21); LSU Shreveport (La.) (No. 22); MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (No. 25).

Others receiving votes: Huntington (Ind.) 91; IU Southeast (Ind.) 66; Vanguard (Calif.) 63; Mayville State (N.D.) 49; LSU Shreveport (La.) 46; Mobile (Ala.) 35; Reinhardt (Ga.) 28; Georgetown (Ky.) 16; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 11; Hope International (Calif.) 9; Columbia (Mo.) 8; Benedictine-Mesa (Ariz.) 5; Biola (Calif.) 5; Friends (Kan.) 4; Concordia (Mich.) 4.