There are few changes in the second edition of the NCAA Division II South Region baseball poll released Wednesday, with Southern Arkansas still holding on to the fourth spot in the poll. Rankings are based on games played through this past Sunday.
In fact, the only change is at second and third among the 10 spots, with the Gulf South Conference East Division’s 16th-ranked North Alabama moving up to second and Barry (Fla.) switching spots down to third.
The remainder of the poll is exactly the same as last week’s, with West Florida (40-5, 35-5 in region) using a 3-0 week to again hold down the top spot, and also remain first in all three national polls. North Alabama (34-10, 26-10) won four games this past week to slip ahead of Barry (31-15, 28-13), which went 1-3. The Muleriders (29-13, 24-10) were also undefeated in four games in remaining fourth, and Nova Southeastern (Fla.) (29-14, 23-14) had a 3-1 week in staying at fifth.
Tampa (Fla.) (29-14, 21-11) and Delta State (Miss.) (28-16, 24-15) each won two of three games in remaining ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, while Harding (36-10, 25-9) and Florida Southern (27-11, 15-10) both lost two of three and stay at eighth and ninth, respectively. Lynn (Fla.) (24-19, 15-13) had a 2-1 mark for the week, but couldn’t move up in the poll, still rounding out the field at 10th.
Eight regions across the nation are ranked and then released weekly by the NCAA. The rankings are of importance because they determine which teams advance to NCAA post-season regional tournament play. Rankings will be released over the next two weeks. The South region will host eight teams in tournament play, the West region will host four, and the remaining six regions will each host six teams.
SAU has three games remaining in the regular season, hosting Arkansas-Monticello this weekend in a 3 p.m. doubleheader Saturday and a 2 p.m. solo Sunday, before competing in the GSC tournament May 6-10 in Millington, Tenn.
The NCAA’s third installment of the region polls will be released next Wednesday, with the final poll set for May 11.
Tournament champions from the Gulf South, Sunshine State and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences comprise three of the eight bids to the South Regional, May 19-23. The remaining at-large slots are awarded to the five highest-ranked teams in the region. The top-rated team is eligible to host the five-day tournament, providing it placed a bid to host and has adequate facilities and accommodations for teams and fans.
NCAA SOUTH REGION BASEBALL RANKINGS, April 27, 2011 (2ND)
TEAM OVERALL IN-REGION
1. West Florida 40-5 35-5
2. North Alabama 34-10 26-10
3. Barry 31-15 28-13
4. Southern Arkansas 29-13 24-10
5. Nova Southeastern 29-14 23-14
6. Tampa 29-14 21-11
7. Delta State 28-16 24-15
8. Harding 36-10 25-9
9. Florida Southern 27-11 15-10
10. Lynn 24-19 15-13