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Point Park (40-7) drops one spot to No. 10 in NAIA Baseball Top 25 Poll

April 24, 2012




PITTSBURGH -- For the third week in a row, Point Park University and perennial NAIA power Lewis-Clark State College traded spots in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. In the national rankings released on Tuesday (April 24), Point Park (40-7, 11-0 AMC) dropped back one spot to No. 10 while Lewis-Clark State (37-10) climbed up one spot to No. 9.

Just one vote separate Point Park (412 votes) and Lewis-Clark State (413) this week. Last week, Point Park was No. 9 and LCSC was No. 10. The week before, it was the other way around.

Point Park enjoyed a 4-0 showing last week and outscored its opponents, 43-3, in that span. Lewis Clark-State, winners of 16 NAIA World Series titles, was also 4-0 with a 42-6 run differential in its games. Lewis Clark-State is the host of the NAIA World Series May 25-June 1 in Lewiston, Idaho.

The NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Poll was voted upon by coaches around the country, and they've had the same 10 teams in the top 10 the last three weeks. However, those teams have switched places a number of times.

This week's poll is particularly close on the backend of the top 10 as just 10 votes seperate the four schools ranked No. 7-10. No. 7 Tennesee Wesleyan got 422 votes followed by No. 8 Oklahoma Baptist (421), No. 9 Lewis-Clark State (413) and No. 10 Point Park (412).

Point Park is ranked for the fifth-consecutive poll, and it has been ranked in the top 10 in every poll of the regular season. The Pioneers are 18-4 since debuting at No. 9 in the first poll of the regular season March 27. Point Park had been rated as the 26th-best team in the NAIA in the preseason poll.

At 40-7, Point Park is one of just five teams in NAIA baseball with 40 or more wins. The Pioneers beat Fisher, 11-1, on Saturday to register their seventh 40-win season in school history and their first since 1998.

Point Park has the second-best winning percentage in the country at .851. Only NAIA No. 1 LSU-Shreveport (42-4) has a better winning percentage at .913.

Point Park has been carried by a pitching staff that ranks eighth in the NAIA with a team ERA of 2.95. The Pioneers hit .317 as a team, which ranks 35th in the country.

Point Park wrapped the American Mideast Conference Regular Season title with last weekend's three-game sweep of Fisher. It is the second-straight year the Pioneers have won league's regular-season crown.

The AMC will not hold a tournament this year. Instead, the Pioneers will travel to the Unaffiliated Group (AMC/GCAC/KIAC) Tournament May 1-4 in Kinston, N.C. Point Park will be the No. 1 seed in that six-team, double-elimination tournament with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NAIA Opening Round May 10-14 at campus sites around the country.

There are only two more polls before the start of the NAIA naitonal tournament. The next national ranking will be announced May 1. The next poll after that will be May 6, the final one of the regular season. The May 6 rating is used to determine the at-large bids to the NAIA Opening Round.

After No. 1 LSU-Shreveport (42-4), the NAIA top 5 includes this week No. 2 Oklahoma City (36-8), No. 3 Faulkner (Ala.) (44-9), No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (38-8) and No. 5 Lee (Tenn.) 46-8-1.


Point Park's Rankings Week by Week

Date                Rank   Votes   Record

Nov. 15            26th      93        0-0 (Preseason)

March 27         9th        403      22-3

April 3              8th        411      28-3

April 10            10th      365      31-6

April 17            9th        410      36-7

April 24            10th      412      40-7