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College  | Rankings  | 6/12/2024

DII/DIII/NAIA Rankings Final Update

Nick Herfordt     
Photo: Hope International Royals (Hope Athletics)
NCAA DII 

The 2024 NCAA DII championship game came down to the top two teams from the preseason batting it out. Angelo State, the 2023 winners, powered through the postseason after an uneven regular season for the opportunity to take home the trophy once again. Tampa, the holders of eight national championships headed into the finale, were their opposition. The Spartans’ success during the regular season was unrivaled with only five losses leading into their final weekend.

The Rams jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after two innings, and held a two run lead headed into the sixth inning. It appeared ASU was going to force the “if necessary” game to decide the champion.  However the UT offense erupted with six runs in the top of the inning which included a run-scoring single by EJ Cumbo, the DII all-time leader in hits. J.P. Gates went 3-4 in the game with a double and a home run at the plate, and threw four shutout innings to close the game. Gates was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as he had eight hits in Cary and threw 8 ⅔ innings of shutout baseball in which he only allowed four hits.



After the game Spartans’ Head Coach Joe Urso, who earned his 1,000 career win in 2024, announced, “These guys are all going to be part of my family for the rest of my life. They are going to go down in my heart as one of the greatest teams of all time." 

With their ninth national baseball championship, Tampa tied fellow Sunshine State Conference member Florida Southern for the most titles in DII. The Spartans six national titles in the 2000's are more than any other school at any level in the NCAA.

Final Rank NCAA DII State Final Record Post Season Record Preseason Rank
1 Tampa Spartans FL 52-8 9-1 2
2 Angelo State Rams TX 44-21 8-3 1
3 Point Loma Sea Lions CA 46-13-1 6-3 11
4 Catawba Indians NC 46-17 6-3 NR
5 Central Missouri Mules MO 52-10 5-2 8
6 Young Harris Mountain Lions GA 41-15 2-2 21
7 Missouri Southern St. Lions MO 44-15 2-2 24
8 Lubbock Christian Chaparrals TX 45-16 4-2 NR
9 UNC Pembroke Braves NC 43-14 1-2 17
10 IUP Crimson Hawks PA 41-18 8-3 NR
11 North Greenville Crusaders SC 41-14 0-2 3
12 Seton Hill Griffins PA 41-17 5-3 6
13 West Chester Golden Rams PA 43-9 0-2 NR
14 Augustana Vikings SD 47-10 2-2 10
15 Mount Olive Trojans NC 39-18 2-2 9
16 East Stroudsburg Warriors PA 43-14 2-2 NR
17 Colorado Mesa Mavericks CO 38-18 0-2 4
18 Embry-Riddle Eagles FL 35-22 4-3 NR
19 UIndy Greyhounds IN 41-21 6-3 NR
20 Georgia College Bobcats GA 37-22 3-2 NR
21 Millersville Marauders PA 38-16 1-2 12
22 St. Leo Lions FL 38-13 0-2 NR
23 Ashland Eagles OH 42-15 2-2 NR
24 Cal State Monterey Bay Otters CA 39-21 4-3 5
25* Lee Flames TN 39-18 2-2 NR
25* Southern New Hampshire Penmen NH 37-19 6-2 NR
DROP Lander Bearcats        
DROP Charleston Golden Eagles        
DROP Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes        
DROP West Texas A&M Buffs      


NAIA

Despite a prolific regular season in 2023, the Hope International baseball team struggled in the postseason going 2-2 in their conference tournament and lost both their NAIA Opening Round games by a total of 35 runs. The Royals had a number of new faces headed into 2024, especially on the mound, which made them a bit of a question mark headed into the season, but unquestionably had the talent for another strong season. HIU went 2-2 once again in the GSAC Championship, but had little problem earning additional wins in the national tournament. The Royals were shipped to Fayette, Missouri where they earned their second trip ever to the NAIA World Series with wins over host Central Methodist and Tabor. They lost a lead late in their opener in Idaho, but won four elimination games, scoring an average of 11 ½ runs to reach the national title game against Tennessee Wesleyan.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the top of the first and were leading 6-4 headed into the fourth inning when HIU recaptured the lead. They took advantage of an error to score three runs and another in the fifth to widen the game margin to 8-6. In the bottom of the seventh they put the game nearly out of reach with five runs, punctuated by a home run by David Riveria. JJ Cruz was named the MVP of the World Series after batting .577 with five home runs and a remarkable 15 RBI in six games. The final score was 14-6 as HIU won their first ever national title and became just the fifth team to lose their first game of the NAIA World Series and then go on to win the championship.

“I feel like we still have another game to play, we’ve played so many games this week,” Head Coach Larry Mahoney joked after the game when asked if the win had sunk in yet, “It’s special. It’s a special moment for this program, for the university, for these players, my coaches who’ve put so many hours in day after day. I’m just so happy for everyone.”    
 
Final Rank NAIA State Final Record Post Season Record Preseason Rank
1 Hope International Royals CA 45-16 8-2 14
2 Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs TN 44-18 7-2 6
3 Southeastern Fire FL 52-8 4-2 1
4 Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies GA 53-9 6-3 2
5 Cumberlands Patriots KY 52-8 4-2 7
6 William Carey Crusaders MS 37-16 3-2 4
7 Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes KS 48-12 3-2 12
8 Reinhardt Eagles GA 44-18 6-2 16
9 Missouri Baptist Spartans MO 41-12-1 2-2 8
10 LSU Shreveport Pilots LA 44-11 2-2 9
11 Webber International Warriors FL 43-14 1-2 NR
12 Central Methodist Eagles MO 44-11 1-2 21
13 William Jessup Warriors CA 39-11 0-2  
14 Arizona Christian Firestorm AZ 38-21 5-2  
15 Mid-America Christian Evangels OK 41-13 1-2  
16 Faulkner Eagles AL 37-17 2-2 10
17 Indiana Southeast Grenadiers IN 37-20 5-2  
18 Taylor Trojans IN 42-16 1-2 11
19 Lewis-Clark State Warriors ID 38-13 1-2 3
20 Bellevue Bruins NE 39-14 0-2 5
21 Loyola Wolf Pack LA 37-19 1-2 24
22 Point Park Pioneers PA 42-15 1-2 20
23 Concordia Bulldogs NE 42-15 1-2 13
24 Oklahoma City Stars OK 35-18 0-2  
25 Doane Tigers NE 39-15 1-2 22
DROP Ottawa (OUAZ) Spirit AZ 35-19 1-2  
DROP USAO Drovers OK     25


NCAA DIII 


In 2023 Misericordia advanced to the DIII College World Series for the second time in school history and established a new school record with 40 wins. With a neatly intact pitching staff and the bulk of last year’s everyday roster back on campus, the prognosis for an even more successful season was predicted for this spring, and that forecast proved to be right on the mark. Not only did the Cougars capture both the MAC Freedom Conference regular and tournament titles, the team swept their way back into the final eight and won games over four different schools to capture the first national title in school history. 

Connor Maryniak, who was named the Perfect Game DIII MVP at the end of the regular season, struggled at the plate in the postseason as his season average dropped from .373 to .345. Nevertheless, the junior utility player continued to throw well on the mound. In the best-of-three title game, he threw 7 ⅓ innings against the extremely potent Wisconsin-Whitewater lineup which batted .347 as a team on the season, and held them to just four runs. Meanwhile Gabe Burn, pushed the team on offense in the finale. Despite being slotted at the tailend of the lineup, he went eight for 12 against the WarHawks and drove in three runs, while scoring one himself in the finale. 

“It’s just sinking in right now,” MU Head Coach Pete Egbert stated after the game, “I was thinking back to last night to early in the season we were 7-7 and not playing very good baseball. I was concerned we weren’t going to make our conference tournament, and here we are. It’s absolutely unbelievable. Just some  really gutty performances from all of our guys straight through and I was really proud of everything they were able to accomplish.”

Final Rank NCAA DIII State Final Record Post Season Record Preseason Rank
1 Misericordia Cougars PA 44-11 11-2 9
2 Endicott Gulls MA 47-4 6-2 3
3 UW-Whitewater Warhawks WI 45-12 10-3 18
4 Salve Regina Seahawks RI 40-10 7-2 13
5 Lynchburg Hornets VA 37-17 7-2  
6 Denison Big Red OH 42-8 3-2 15
7 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays MD 35-11 3-2 1
8 East Texas Baptist Tigers TX 39-10 3-2 2
9 Salisbury Seagulls MD 32-12 4-3 12
10 Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens CA 37-14 5-2  
11 Case Western Reserve Spartans OH 33-11 2-2 17
12 Birmingham-Southern Panthers AL 33-16 6-2 19
13 Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets VA 33-16 5-3  
14 Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets OH 36-10 0-2 16
15 Christopher Newport Captains VA 29-12 3-3 14
16 UW LaCrosse Eagles WI 36-16 4-3 11
17 La Verne Leopards CA 30-16-1 3-3 22
18 Cortland State Red Dragons NY 31-14-1 1-2 10
19 Arcadia Knights PA 33-14 2-2  
20 Rowan Profs NJ 29-15 2-2 7
21 Aurora Spartans IL 34-11 0-0 20
22 Trinity Tigers TX 32-15 1-3 NR
23 Penn State Harrisburg Lions PA 35-11 1-2  
24 Benedictine Eagles IL 33-14 1-2 23
25 Babson Beavers MA 30-13 0-2  
DROP Eastern Connecticut Warriors