Diamond Cats Ranked No. 2 in Postseason Poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The National runner-up Rogers State baseball team was the biggest mover in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, rocketing up 21 spots to No. 2 with 450 points, announced on Tuesday by the national office.
The Hillcats, who made their first appearance at the Avista-NAIA World Series, have never ranked higher than 11th. Ninth-seeded RSU quickly became a fan favorite in Lewiston, posting three come-from-behind victories and tallied a 4-2 record at the tournament. The Diamond Cats knocked off top-ranked and top-seeded LSU-Shreveport and second-seeded Lee (Tenn.) en route to the World Series title game.
After winning its first-ever national championship, Tennessee Wesleyan received the program's first No. 1 ranking in the poll. The Bulldogs, who were previously winless at the World Series, scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn a 10-6 victory over RSU on June 1 to take home the title.
No. 3 LSU Shreveport (La.) was dethroned from the top spot for the first time since March 27. The Pilots gathered 438 total points and finished third at the World Series for the second time in school history.
Rounding out the top five are Lee (Tenn.) at No. 4 with 404 total points and Oklahoma City at No. 5 with 394 total points, respectively. The Flames reached the semifinal round, but were eliminated following a 7-5 loss to Rogers State on May 30. The Stars fell out of World Series action on May 28 with a 5-4 loss to LSU Shreveport.
Sooner Athletic Conference foes Oklahoma Baptist and Lubbock Christian joined the Hillcats and the Stars in the poll. The Bison dropped five spots to No. 12 and Lubbock Christian slid three spots, coming in at No. 22.
No. 10 College of Idaho and No. 23 Union (Tenn.) are the newcomers in the poll. The Coyotes reached the World Series after winning the Azusa Bracket, but went 0-2 in Lewiston with losses against No. 6 Point Park (Pa.) (7-3) and No. 8 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (5-1). Union nearly reached the championship game of the Hardeeville Bracket, but fell to No. 7 South Carolina Beaufort, 8-7.
Fifteen different conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll with the Southern States Athletic Conference and the SAC leading the pack with four teams, while the Sun Conference is third with three.
For a complete look at the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll click here
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings.