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Baseball jumps two spots in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll

The baseball team improved to No. 22 from No. 24 in the 2021 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. They received 124 votes this week.

Since April 14, when the last poll was released, the Saints have won six of eight games. They won the series against the University of the Southwest 3-1 with scores of 2-3, 5-3, 9-1 and 11-0. They also won the three-game series against Oklahoma Panhandle State University 2-1 with scores of 4-3, 13-14 and 11-7. During this time, Head Coach Bryan Aughney marked his 100th win at OLLU and 225 in his career.

The Saints first entered the Top 25 in the second poll of the season on March 31 with a ranking of No. 21, and No. 24 in the third poll on April 14.

The Saints are tied with LSU-Alexandria (LSUA) in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) – both teams are 16-4 in the conference, while OLLU is 30-15 overall and LSUA is 26-21. The two teams are one game ahead of LSU-Shreveport (LSUS) (15-5/31-12).  

Statistically, in the conference, the Saints are No. 1 in ERA (4.98) and batters struck out (357). They are ranked 17th in the NAIA in assists with 401 and 18th in triples with 16.

The only other RRAC opponent included in the poll was LSU-Shreveport, which received 74 votes.

In the conference ratings, the Saints remain first, followed by LSUS, LSUA and Texas A&M University – Texarkana.

Poll Methodology

  • The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
  • The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
  • The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low rating) is removed, and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appear on.
  • Teams that receive only one point on the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
  • The frequency of the polls is bi-weekly. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) prior to the 2016-17 academic season. This change allows raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work between rating periods.
  • For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.

2021 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll 4 (April 28, 2021)

RANKLAST WEEKSCHOOL [1st Place Votes]RECORDFINAL POINTS
11Tennessee Wesleyan [19]43-4529
22Southeastern (Fla.)38-6510
33Cumberlands (Ky.)40-6489
44Central Methodist (Mo.)38-5484
56Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)35-3446
67Oklahoma Wesleyan39-5438
75Faulkner (Ala.)29-6437
88Georgia Gwinnett32-9407
99Vanguard (Calif.)35-13377
1015Loyola (La.)30-11368
1113Science & Arts (Okla.)28-9366
1218St. Thomas (Fla.)32-17334
1312Hope International (Calif.)24-12324
1410Keiser (Fla.)30-13289
1411Middle Georgia State30-15289
1619Indiana Wesleyan39-12277
1714Bryan (Tenn.)30-14255
1820Indiana Southeast (Ind.)36-13247
1916Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.)25-10194
2022Concordia (Neb.)30-7187
21RVOklahoma City28-13136
2224Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)30-15124
23RVMidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)33-12121
2423McPherson (Kan.)33-9119
2517Reinhardt (Ga.)29-16115

Dropped from the Top 25: Bellevue (Neb.), Taylor (Ind.)

Others Receiving Votes: Bellevue (Neb.) 92, Westmont (Calif.) 81, LSU Shreveport (La.) 74, Webber International (Fla.) 73, William Carey (Miss.) 71, Columbia (Mo.) 63, Point Park (Pa.) 25, Taylor (Ind.) 22, Warner (Fla.) 17, Southwestern Christian (Okla.) 13, Georgetown (Ky.) 6, Concordia (Mich.) 3.

Baseball plates 28 runs in series win over Panhandle State

The baseball team won two of three games against Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) at Hodgetown Minor League Park. The No. 24-ranked Saints are now 30-15 overall and remain at 16-4 in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC).

Head Coach Bryan Aughney commented, “Taking two out of three on the road against a hot OPSU team was a good result. We scored some runs in game one and handed the ball off to Jose Diaz (SR/Pinar del Rio, Cuba) for the save. We had a lightning delay in game two after scoring some runs and put Jose Ramirez III (JR/Donna, Texas) in a different position than he is used to. We have to do a better job in the bullpen collecting outs after scoring 13 runs. Brett Vasquez (SO/Mont Belvieu, Texas) had an outstanding start in game three, and we are getting primed and ready to go for the RRAC tournament. The bats came alive in game three, and we have some work to do before finishing up conference play this next weekend.”

History

The Saints are 2-2 against the Aggies in the all-time series.

Game one

The Saints battled in game one on Friday. They trailed 2-1 after three innings before Tyler Vivier (FR/San Antonio, Texas) tied the game by stealing home in the fifth inning. OLLU added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Diaz allowed a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning but still closed out the game to give the Saints a 4-3 victory. Both teams tallied seven hits, and Matthew Klar (SO/San Antonio, Texas) batted 2-for-3 with a double.

Game two

The second game of the series was wild. The Aggies won 14-13, and both teams tallied double-digit hits. Each team scored runs in every inning except for the third and sixth. The game was tied 9-9 after just four innings. The Saints grabbed a 12-9 advantage in the top of the fifth inning, aided by a triple from Noah Rodriguez (SO/Victoria, Texas).

The Aggies responded with one run in the bottom of the inning and four in the sixth inning. The Saints trailed 14-12 going into the top of the seventh inning. Rodriguez scored on a dropped fly, but Jacob Mitchell (JR/Harker Heights, Texas ) grounded out during the next at-bat to end the game.

Game three

Heavy-hitting was on display again from both teams in the series finale on Saturday. The Saints won 11-7 behind 13 hits. Starting pitcher Vasquez struck out eight batters and allowed three runs in six innings of work. Seven Saints batters tallied at least one hit, and Diaz went 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI. OLLU heads into the last weekend of the regular season one game ahead of LSU-Alexandria in the RRAC.

Up next

The Saints conclude the regular season with a four-game road series against RRAC opponent University of Houston-Victoria from April 30-May 1.