The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 63

The remainder of the top five held their positions from the 2014 Postseason Poll with No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan (one first-place vote and 524 points), No. 4 Oklahoma Baptist (503 points) and No. 5 Faulkner (Ala.) (490 points) making up the quintet. Oklahoma Wesleyan enters the season fresh off a 2014 campaign that saw the club reach new heights. The Eagles fell one game short of playing for the banner in their first-ever World Series appearance and ended the season with a program record 58 wins. No. 14 Belhaven (Miss.) recorded the largest positive movement in the poll, jumping up four spots from No. 18. The Blazers reached the championship game of the 2014 NAIA Baseball Opening Round in the Jackson Bracket, but fell to Oklahoma Wesleyan, 8-7. Four newcomers joined the Top 25 – No. 18 Concordia (Calif.), No. 22 Point Park (Pa.), No. 23 Tennessee Wesleyan and No. 25 William Woods (Mo.). Concordia, Point Park and Tennessee Wesleyan were all ranked at some point during the 2013 season. The Top 25 mention is the first for William Woods since ranking No. 23 on April 21, 2009 – a string of 45-straight polls. The Southern States Athletic Conference – Faulkner, Belhaven and No. 21 BrewtonParker (Ga.) – leads all leagues with three programs represented in the preseason edition. The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, the Association of Independent Institutions and the NAIA West Group. The first regular-season edition will be released on March 10, 2015. For the complete ratings calendar, click here. Notes (all information dates back to 2000): Cumberland (Tenn.) is making its secondstraight appearance at No. 1 and sixth all-time … the Bulldogs were one of three teams to top the poll in 2013 – Faulkner (Ala.) and Oklahoma Baptist being the other two … Ten different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000 … No. 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) leads all programs with 53 top mentions, while Oklahoma City is second with 31 … Eight other teams have been ranked No. 1 in at least two polls: former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) (13), Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (11), LSU Shreveport (La.) (6), former member Lee (Tenn.) (6), Cumberland (6), Faulkner (5), Oklahoma Baptist (5) and Tennessee Wesleyan (2) … Lewis-Clark State has been ranked in a NAIA-best 137-straight polls … The next closest active streak is owned by Embry-Riddle (75) … No. 25 William Woods is making its first appearance since the 2009 season … The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all leagues with three ranked teams.