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College  | Rankings  | 4/17/2024

DII/DIII/NAIA Rankings Update: April 17

Nick Herfordt     
Photo: Noel McGarry-Doyle (MACU Athletics)
While there was a lot of action across the country last week, the big news out of the small school divisions occurred in the NAIA. While the Concordia Bulldogs went 1-3 on the week to slip in the rankings, one of their players ascended in the all-time record books. Joey Grabanski hit a pair of home runs on Saturday which contributed to his team’s 13-11 win over Morningside. The two blasts were the 77th and 78th of his college career which made him the NAIA’s all time leading home run hitter. The previous record had been established in 2010 by Brice Cutspec of Azusa Pacific. He added another home run the next day to increase his overall total to 79. That total is fifth all time in college baseball regardless of division. Another home run will tie him with LSU legend Eddy Furniss for fourth overall.




NCAA DII 

Rk School State Record Lst Week Prev Rk
1 Tampa Spartans FL 34-4 3-0 1
2 Central Missouri Mules MO 36-5 3-1 2
3 North Greenville Crusaders SC 32-9 3-1 3
4 Point Loma Sea Lions CA 29-8-1 2-0 6
5 Angelo State Rams TX 30-12 4-0 7
6 UNC Pembroke Braves NC 31-11 3-1 8
7 Millersville Marauders PA 31-7 2-2 5
8 Missouri Southern St. Lions MO 33-10 3-1 11
9 Young Harris Mountain Lions GA 31-9 3-0 9
10 Augustana Vikings SD 27-6 5-0 13
11 Mount Olive Trojans NC 26-11 1-3 4
12 St. Leo Lions FL 30-6 0-1 10
13 Colorado Mesa Mavericks CO 26-12 3-1 12
14 Ashland Eagles OH 29-5 5-0 17
15 East Stroudsburg Warriors PA 30-6 2-3 14
16 Catawba Indians NC 32-10 3-1 19
17 Lander Bearcats SC 31-11 5-0 24
18 Barton Bulldogs NC 32-9 3-0 NR
19 Lee Flames TN 31-11 3-1 21
20 Lubbock Christian Chaparrals TX 30-12 3-1 22
21 Westmont Warriors CA 28-9-3 2-0 NR
22 West Texas A&M Buffs TX 31-11 2-2 16
23 Seton Hill Griffins PA 23-12 2-3 15
24 Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes GA 29-13 2-2 20
25 Saginaw Valley State Cardinals MI 26-10 4-1 NR
DROP West Florida Argos FL 24-16 1-2 18


Last season Barton tied for second in the ultra competitive Conference Carolinas regular season standings, a position which would almost certainly secure them a spot in the NCAA postseason; however with DII’s mandatory conferences-to-regions tie ins, the Bulldogs were left out after a disappointing performance in the conference tournament. There simply wasn’t room for them with only eight teams from three of the top conferences advancing. 

This year the battle for the postseason is just as tight - if not more competitive. Despite Barton having a 32-9 overall record, they are tied for fourth in the Conference Carolinas standings. Alas, their prospects took a turn for the better this past weekend as they swept Mount Olive, a team which has been in the Perfect Game Top 10 all season long.  Barton’s win over the Trojans on Sunday was their 32nd over the year which tied the school record for wins. BC’s overall record breaking season should continue to impress to close the season as their last two remaining series are with Erskine, a team in the bottom third of the conference standings, and Chowan, a school which is 3-21 in conference play. 

Much of Barton’s success is resting on the shoulders of senior Tanner Halverson. He was named the Conference Carolinas Male Athlete of the Year in 2023 as he was the conference’s pitcher of the year with a 1.71 ERA over 95 innings while batting .339. This spring he is excelling on the mound and at the plate once again. As a pitcher he has made 11 starts and struck out 75 batters in just 64 innings. His ERA is high at 4.64, but he still leads the team in wins and has a pair of complete games. At the plate he is pacing the club in total bases as he is hitting .319 with 19 extra base hits. 

Despite Halverson’s impressive success, there are plenty of other players on the team contributing to Barton’s wins. Catcher Chase Waddel led the team in batting last season with a .353 average and is hitting .337 this spring with a team leading 13 doubles. Jared Beebe has started every game at third and has a .344 average. Matthew Riveria was a regular starter at Ball State and joined the team as a graduate student. He is leading the team with both a .366 average and eight home runs despite only having 24 starts.   

Barton’s team ERA is half that of their competition. Part of that success is due to the offense batting .330, but credit needs to go to the staff as well. Matt Rivers, another veteran former DI player, has been outstanding as a starter. He has a 1.96 ERA over 55 innings which is second in the conference.  His .238 opposing batting average is just outside the top ten in the conference. Connor Patterson rounds out the regular rotation with Halverson and Rivers. He has a 3.96 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 61 ⅓ solid innings of work.  The bullpen has a number of solid arms to close games. AJ Campbell has seen the most action with 35 innings over 13 appearances. He is holding opposition to a .216 average in crucial late innings. 


NAIA

Rk School State Record Lst Week Prev Rk
1 Southeastern Fire FL 36-5 4-0 1
2 Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies GA 35-6 2-1 3
3 Cumberlands Patriots KY 36-5 4-0 4
4 Webber International Warriors FL 36-8 4-0 6
5 Faulkner Eagles AL 30-10 3-0 7
6 Missouri Baptist Spartans MO 30-8 4-0 8
7 Central Methodist Eagles MO 34-7 4-0 9
8 LSU Shreveport Pilots LA 32-7 0-4 2
9 Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes KS 34-8 5-1 10
10 Hope International Royals CA 31-10 4-1 15
11 Lewis-Clark State Warriors ID 27-9 4-0 21
12 William Carey Crusaders MS 26-12 1-2 5
13 Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs TN 27-15 1-2 11
14 Bellevue Bruins NE 30-11 5-0 19
15 William Jessup Warriors CA 31-9 1-3 13
16 Loyola Wolf Pack LA 31-11 2-2 12
17 Mid-America Christian Evangels OK 29-9 3-0 NR
18 Doane Tigers NE 29-9 4-1 17
19 Reinhardt Eagles GA 28-12 2-2 14
20 Benedictine Mesa Redhawks AZ 28-10 2-1 18
21 Concordia Bulldogs NE 29-12 1-3 16
22 Oklahoma City Stars OK 26-14 2-1 23
23 Taylor Trojans IN 29-13 2-2 22
24 Tabor Bluejays KS 28-11 1-3 20
25 Freed-Hardeman Lions TN 30-13 0-3 25
DROP Ottawa (OUAZ) Spirit AZ 27-15 3-2 24


After sweeping MidAmerican Nazarene over the weekend, Mid-America Christian has joined the Perfect Game Top 25 for the first time. Their inclusion was a bit overdue as in addition to their sweep of the Pioneers last week, Mid-America has also earned impressive wins this season over LSU-Shreveport, Missouri Baptist, Oklahoma City, Science & Arts and Oklahoma Wesleyan.  

Like Barton in DII, MACU had a strong overall season in 2023, but was left out of their division’s postseason. Instead of playing in the NAIA Opening Round, the Evangles instead played in the National Christian College Athletic Association Baseball World Series as they earned their most ever wins in a single season with a 39-17 overall record. Their first NCCAA World Series Championship came in memorable fashion as after coming back to tie SW Christian in the bottom of the eighth inning, they won the game in the bottom of the 10th inning. 

The Sooner Athletic Conference leaders have an outstanding starting pitching staff with a team ERA well over a run and a half less than any other team in the conference at 3.78. Two starting pitchers have been especially potent on the mound, Zane Robeaux and Isaac Baez. Robeaux is improving on a solid 2023 season in which he had a 2.94 ERA and held opposition to a .208 average. This year he has a 2.18 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 45 ⅓ innings. Baez is much improved from last season and has lowered his ERA to 3.23 with a 1.03 WHIP. In 61 ⅓ innings he has struck out 74 batters while only allowing 48 hits and 15 walks.  Devan Quesada, a transfer from Academy of Art (DII) who also pitched previously at Clarke where he earned All-Conference honors, has been solid as well. In 43 ⅔ innings he has held opposition to a .205 batting average with 41 strikeouts.  

Despite how good the pitching has been, the contributions by their offense can’t be overlooked. Much of the offense has developed by recruiting experienced proven players. Kyle Williams is batting .455 with 16 doubles and six home runs in his first season after excelling at Cisco College. Noel McGarry-Doyle is another newcomer who has been hard to get out. The junior transfer from Southeastern CC is hitting .389 with a team leading eight home runs. He also has eight doubles and three triples for a .690 slugging percentage. D’Andre Gaines batted .325 at Contra Costa, a community college in California. He is hitting .373 for MACU with seven home runs and nine stolen bases. Jacob Police is hitting .367 as a sophomore.


NCAA DIII

Rk School State Record Lst Week Prev Rk
1 Endicott Gulls MA 24-2 3-1 1
2 Salisbury Seagulls MD 22-6 2-1 2
3 East Texas Baptist Tigers TX 27-6 3-0 3
4 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays MD 21-7 4-1 4
5 Denison Big Red OH 25-3 4-1 5
6 Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets OH 24-4 4-0 6
7 Eastern Connecticut Warriors CT 21-6 3-1 7
8 UW-Whitewater Warhawks WI 23-4 7-1 12
9 Salve Regina Seahawks RI 21-4 3-1 9
10 La Verne Leopards CA 18-6-1 1-0 13
11 UW LaCrosse Eagles WI 18-6 6-2 8
12 Christopher Newport Captains VA 20-7 3-1 14
13 Rowan Profs NJ 16-9 3-2 11
14 Trinity Tigers TX 24-8 3-1 17
15 Montclair State Red Hawks NJ 24-7 1-3 10
16 Lynchburg Hornets VA 20-11 2-2 15
17 Case Western Reserve Spartans OH 24-7 3-1 19
18 Aurora Spartans IL 21-6 3-1 20
19 Cortland State Red Dragons NY 19-8-1 4-0 22
20 Shenandoah Hornets VA 21-10 2-2 18
21 Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens CA 23-8 0-0 21
22 Misericordia Cougars PA 20-8 4-1 23
23 Benedictine Eagles IL 20-6 3-3 16
24 Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets VA 20-8 2-1 24
25* Buena Vista Beavers IA 21-6 2-0 25
25* Cal Lutheran Kingsmen CA 23-7 1-1 NR


On March 12th Cortland was a disappointing 4-7-1; however, each one of their losses, as well as the tie came against teams currently ranked in the Perfect Game Top 25. The Red Dragons have since gone 15-1 and look much more like the preseason number ten team they were forecasted to be. 

As has been their traditional modus operandi, Cortland is winning games with an enviable pitching staff. Dylan Beers and Anthony Fusco were anticipated to lead the staff after strong seasons in 2023, but it has been a pair of transfers who are compiling some of the best numbers on the team.  Luis Misla struck out 82 batters in 47 ⅔ innings last season at Hudson Valley CC. He has been just as dominant if not better for the Dragons. Over nine starts he has thrown a total of 45 innings and stuck out 67 batters while only allowing 27 hits for a .171 opposing batting average. Devin Georgetti struck out 98 batters in 66 innings at Finger Lakes CC and had struck out 34 in 32 ⅔ innings in a mixed role for Cortland.  Will McCarthy, who started 12 games last year and had a 2.98 ERA, had been considered for a move to the bullpen, but kept his spot in the rotation. In his six appearances he has a team leading 1.72 ERA and only allowed 21 hits over 31 ⅓ innings. 

Graduate outfielder Mat Bruno is dominating in his sixth season on the team. His .402 average leads the team, as does his nine doubles, four home runs and seven stolen bases.  Chris Bonacci is hitting .345 after leading the team in batting last season and Dylan Mackenzie has once again elevated his game. He is hitting .344 as the team’s third baseman.

The Dragons will look to increase their 13 game winning streak this week against Oswego.