Tennessee Wesleyan wraps up the 2013 season ranked No. 12 in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, announced Wednesday by the national office.
The Bulldogs (45-18 overall, 20-3 Appalachian Athletic Conference) won both the regular-season and tournament league championships. Tennessee Wesleyan was the No. 1 seed in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round - Kingsport Bracket but missed advancing to the AVISITA-NAIA World Series, losing 4-3 in 19 innings to Missouri Baptist in the championship game.
Tennessee Wesleyan collected 352 total voting points to put it 29 back of No. 11 Lubbock Christian (Texas).
Less than one week after winning its first-ever NAIA World Series title, Faulkner (Ala.) receives the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The top billing is the second-straight and second overall for the Eagles, who were the unanimous No. 1 pick with 20 first-place votes and 560 points.
Faulkner notched a 5-0 record at this year's World Series, including an 11-4 win over Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in the championship game on May 30, en route to an NAIA-best 56-11 record. The Eagles close 2013 as the NAIA leader in runs scored (549), RBI (480) and stolen bases (198), while also ranking amongst the top five in 11 additional statistical categories.
National runner-up Lewis-Clark State landed at No. 2 with 539 points. With the loss to Faulkner, the Warriors fell short of winning their NAIA record 17th national crown. Lewis-Clark State, who has been ranked in every poll dating back to 2000, is rated within the top three for the first time since May 12, 2010.
Lee (Tenn.) received 522 points to hold down the No. 3 spot in the poll for the third-consecutive edition. The Flames are the only team to be ranked in the top four all season. Lee reached the semifinals of the World Series, but lost to Faulkner, 8-4, on May 29.
No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) moves one spot from its Final Poll position with 511 points, while No. 5 Missouri Baptist's 15 position jump highlights the poll as the Spartans round out the top five with 479 points. Missouri Baptist made its first-ever trip to Lewiston after winning back-to-back games against 2012 World Series champion Tennessee Wesleyan in the Kingsport, Tenn., Opening Round Bracket.
No. 13 Rogers State (Okla.), No. 22 Judson (Ill.) and No. 24 Lyon (Ark.) are the newcomers this week. Rogers State is the lone team amongst the newcomers to reach the World Series, advancing with a championship in the Claremore, Okla., Opening Round Bracket. All three teams were ranked previously this season.
William Carey (Miss.) (No. 25), LSU Shreveport (La.) (No. 24) and Science & Arts (Okla.) (No. 23) fell out of the Top 25.
Fifteen of the 21 baseball conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four squads from the Sooner Athletic Conference.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups.