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Point Park moves up one spot to No. 9 in the NAIA Baseball Top 25

April 17, 2012

Second baseman Tom Birko and the Pioneers moved up one spot this week. Photo by Evan Schall.



PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University inched up the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Poll on Tuesday moving up one spot to No. 9 in the nation. The Pioneers (36-7, 8-0 AMC) have been ranked in all four of the ratings so far this year, and they've been in the top 10 every time.

Point Park went 5-1 last week to warrant jumping up one position. Their highest ranking of No. 8 occured two weeks ago, and their No. 10 rating last week was the lowest so far. Now at No. 9, the Pioneers are back where they were in the first ranking of the regular season March 27.

Point Park continues to be the highest-rated school from a northern, cold-weather climate. Also, the Pioneers have the fifth-most victories in the country with 36.

This week's top 10 features the exact same teams as last week, but only two of those teams -- No. 1 LSU-Shreveport (37-4) and No. 7 Oklahoma Baptist (34-9) -- remain in the same position they were in last week.

That's because the top 10 played musical chairs with eight of the schools trading positions. Point Park traded with Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (31-10), which is No. 10 this week.

Also trading spots were No. 2 Oklahoma City and No. 3 Lee (Tenn.), No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and No. 5 Faulkner (Ala.), and No. 6 Tennessee Wesleyan and No. 8 Embry-Riddle (Fla).

Point Park had a strong showing last week with five victories in six games with the only loss being to NCAA Division II Clarion. In the middle of last week, the Pioneers split two-games versus a good-hitting Clarion team while using its non-conference pitchers.

Getting back into conference play last weekend, Point Park took care of business with a four-game sweep of AMC foe Walsh. The sweep of Walsh bumped the Pioneers' conference record to 8-0 and moved them to within one win of clinching the AMC Regular Season title for the second year in a row.

There are two more polls left in the regular season (April 24 & May 1). The final poll before the national tournament will be May 6, and that poll will determine the at-large bids to the NAIA Opening Round. Another poll will be conducted June 5 after the NAIA World Series.

Point Park was just outside the national rankings in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll that came out Nov. 15. The Pioneers were voted the 26th-best team in the nation then, but vaulted into the top 10 in the first regular season poll by winning 22 of their 25 games. Point Park later ran its record up to 30-3 with 18 consecutive wins that allowed them to reach as high as No. 8 in the April 3 poll.

Point Park's next game is Wednesday, April 18 at home versus Salem International. Game time at Green Tree Park is 1 p.m.


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