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Foresters Crack Top-25 in Latest NAIA Baseball Rankings

2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll — No. 4

 KANSAS CITY – After receiving votes in the previous two NAIA Baseball Top-25 Polls, Huntington cracked the Top-25 by grabbing a No. 24 rating in the fourth poll of the regular season.

No. 24 Huntington (23-8, 16-3 CL) climbed into the Top-25 by improving 18 points over the previous rating for a total of 109 to jump from 26th in the points to No. 24. HU has won 14-of-15 games and currently sits one game up on Taylor in the loss column for the top spot in the Crossroads League standings.

 Oklahoma City takes over No. 1 spot

April 18, 2017   KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time since 2015, Oklahoma City garners the No. 1 ranking in the fourth regular-season edition of the 2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Stars, who last held the No. 1 ranking on May 8, 2015, gathered 16 first-place votes and 467 total points en route to the top-spot. The final regular-season edition will release on May 2.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000)
• Oklahoma City boasts the No. 1 ranking for the 33rd time in program history. The Stars have been listed among the top five for four-straight editions since joining the poll in the first regular-season poll.
• The Stars are the only team to reach the 40-win threshold, as the team enters the week with a NAIA-best 40-5 record.
• Oklahoma City has won 21 of its last 22 games, including a three-game series sweep of Sooner Athletic Conference Rival Wayland Baptist (Texas) over the weekend. The Stars lone loss was a 12-3 defeat to No. 13 Texas Wesleyan on April 8.
• Previous No. 1, Faulkner (Ala.) slips to No. 2 this week. The Eagles, who collected 444 total points, have lost four of their last six games. Faulkner hopes to rebound this weekend with a three-game set against William Carey (Miss.)
• Rounding out the top five are No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan (435 points), No. 4 Bellevue (Neb.) (432 points) and No. 5 Central Methodist (Mo.) (383 points).
• The No. 5 ranking is the highest in program history for Central Methodist, dating back to 2000. The Eagles are 32-8 on the season, including a 16-4 mark in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Central Methodist jumped five spots from its No. 10 perch last installment.
• Missouri Baptist highlights the forward movement in the poll, as the Spartans jumped from No. 22 to No. 10 this week. The club has won 11 of its last 12 games, including three-game sweeps of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Park (Mo.) and Lyon (Ark.).
• Three new teams joined the Top 25 in No. 22 Mayville State (N.D.), No. 23 Huntington (Ind.) and No. 25 IU Southeast (Ind.). Mayville State is ranked for the first time since the 2003 Preseason Poll, while Huntington garners Top 25 mention for the first time in program history (since 2000). IU Southeast returns to the poll after falling out in the first regular-season edition.
• 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 (33), 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).
• The Heart of America Athletic Conference is the only league with multiple teams ranked among the top 10 – No. 5 Central Methodist and No. 9 Clarke (Iowa).
• 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.

2017 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (April 18) – No. 4

RANK PRVS SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2017 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 2 Oklahoma City (16) 40-5 467
2 1 Faulkner (Ala.) 38-8 444
3 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan (1) 38-8 435
4 5 Bellevue (Neb.) 37-7 432
5 10 Central Methodist (Mo.) 32-8 383
6 6 Tennessee Wesleyan 31-14 379
7 16 Keiser (Fla.) 33-15 365
8 13 Northwestern Ohio 31-10 345
9 11 Clarke (Iowa) 34-8 343
10 22 Missouri Baptist 31-11 338
11 3 Southeastern (Fla.) 39-7 317
12 7 Tabor (Kan.) 31-11 303
13 12 Texas Wesleyan 32-11 280
14 8 Georgia Gwinnett 31-16 269
15 15 Webber International (Fla.) 35-9 266
16 17 Middle Georgia State 35-12 262
17 18 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 27-12 218
18 21 Science & Arts (Okla.) 35-13 182
19 19 Indiana Tech 31-9 165
20 25 Cumberlands (Ky.) 36-11 152
21 20 Bryan (Tenn.) 30-13 135
22 RV Mayville State (N.D.) 33-6 132
23 14 William Carey (Miss.) 29-14 125
24 RV Huntington (Ind.) 22-8 109
25 NR IU Southeast (Ind.) 32-9 104

Dropped from Top 25: Menlo (Calif.) (No. 9); Sterling (Kan.) (No. 23); St. Thomas (Fla.) (No. 24)

Others receiving votes: St. Thomas (Fla.) 91; Vanguard (Calif.) 90; Biola (Calif.) 85; Point (Ga.) 72; Friends (Kan.) 33; LSU Shreveport (La.) 24; Campbellsville (Ky.) 22; Mobile (Ala.) 19; Sterling (Kan.) 14; Davenport (Mich.) 9; Hope International (Calif.) 3; Midland (Neb.) 3; Columbia (Mo.) 3; Reinhardt (Ga.) 3.