Collegiate Baseball ranks Mesa No. 1 in NJCAA DII pre-season poll Source: Mesa CC Athletics MESA, AZ - The defending national champions are still on top according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper which has ranked Mesa No. 1 in its NJCAA pre-season poll for 2015. The T-Birds fought their way to the national title last spring, posting a school-record 52-13 record and have a number of key players returning, prompting the No. 1 ranking. Among those back for their sophomore seasons are several of the top hitters from a year ago, three key starting pitchers and the closer. Among the field players returning to defend the national title is leading hitter Jordan Zimmerman (So., Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain H.S.) who hit .378 with five home runs and 49 RBIs. Alex Gudac (So., West Jordan, Utah/Juan Diego Catholic H.S.) had a .325 mark with four homers are 34 driven in. James Anderson (So., Henderson, Nev/Coronado H.S.) posted a .355 mark at the plate and Casey Moses (So., Las Vegas, Nev/Centennial H.S.) hit .297. All-America pitcher Tyler Carvalho (So., Palmdale, Calif/Paraclete H.S.) is back for another year along with Evan Fresquez (So., Las Vegas, Nev/Coronado H.S.), Ryan Chen (So., Las Vegas, Nev/Arbor View H.S.) and closer Danny Lutz (Fr., Phoenix, AZ/Shadow Mountain H.S.). Eagles ranked No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball poll Source: Hinds CC Athletics On the heels of capturing the 2014 Region XXIII championship and finishing runner-up in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series, the Hinds Community College baseball team is ranked second in the nation in the 2015 Collegiate Baseball preseason poll that was released on Tuesday. Hinds was 40-21 overall last season and won the Region XXIII tournament at Community Bank Park in Ellisville before playing for the 2014 national championship in Enid, Okla., where the Eagles dropped a 9-7 decision in 11 innings to Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. The Eagles will open the 2015 campaign on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Joe G. Moss Field in Raymond, welcoming Mineral Area (Mo.) College to town for a 2 p.m. doubleheader.