Photo: Seton Hill

NCAA Division II Top 25: May 20

College : : Rankings
Nick Herfordt        
Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The D-II Regionals finished up Sunday night (well, early Monday morning thanks to a rain delayed final in the Southeast) with relatively few upsets. Six teams from last week’s top 10 advanced to Cary for the 2014 NCAA Division II Championship, led by Tampa, Lander and Minnesota State, who continues to compile wins while remaining in the single digits for losses.

Tampa was tested in the South, needing three come-from-behind wins to keep their sensational season alive and will be defending their crown in Cary. Last year’s runner-up Minnesota State will be heading to Carolina for the third consecutive year after sweeping through the Central Region. Lander has now won 20 of their last 21 games, the last of which earned them their first trip to the D-II Championship. The Bearcats Southeast Regional championship was especially memorable, and controversial, as LU and Columbus State were forced to play their winner-take-all final game when the first pitch wasn’t delivered until 11:05 p.m. due to a six hour rain delay.

The big mover in the rankings this week is Seton Hill. Typically, teams don’t jump from being outside of the top 25 into the top ten, but Marc Marizzaldi’s Griffins have been on a tear, winning nine of their last ten games which included a sweep of the Atlantic Region in which they held their opposition to only four total runs. Additionally, SHU was sixth in the preseason rankings so it’s no question the Griffs have the talent, and the motivation, for a deep run in Cary after falling just short of a trip to the final eight last season.

A team which is very familiar to playing in the D-II CWS is the Chico State Wildcats who will be playing for the national title once again. Head Coach Dave Taylor lost a number of his top numbers generators after last season, but has once again rebuilt and reloaded his roster with top West Coast talent and the ‘Cats will be back in the finals for the eighth time in nine seasons. Chico State doesn’t have the most dominating lineup on paper, but they can win games with pitching and defense just like their D-I counterpart UCLA did last season.

The most surprising club head to Cary is St. Thomas Aquinas. STAC hadn’t been in the top 25 all season and couldn’t boast a win over a ranked club until they defeated Southern New Hampshire in the second round of the East Regional. However, they hadn’t played any ranked teams until then either. Spartans will definitely be a long shot to go deep in Cary, but their aggressiveness on the basepaths and sound fundamental play shouldn’t be underestimated.

RK Prev. Team Mascot Overall Last Week
1 1 Tampa Spartans 51-2 4-0
2 2 Lander Bearcats 51-7 4-1
3 3 Minnesota State Mavericks 45-9 4-0
4 7 Colorado Mesa Mavericks 44-11 4-1
5 8 Chico State Wildcats 43-13 4-0
6 10 Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles 45-12 4-1
7 11 Columbus St. Cougars 40-17 4-2
8 NR  Seton Hill Griffins 40-15 4-0
9 4 Delta St. Statesmen 38-13 0-2
10 15 Drury Panthers 44-13 3-2
11 9 Grand Valley St. Lakers 39-13 2-2
12 12 Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys 44-12 2-2
13 6 St. Edward's Hilltoppers 39-16 0-2
14 5 Mount Olive Trojans 40-13 0-2
15 16 Alabama-Huntsville Chargers 41-16 2-2
16 20 UC San Diego Tritons 38-16 3-2
17 21 Millersville Marauders 39-16 3-2
18 14 Lynn Fighting Knights 35-16 1-2
19 19 West Florida Argonauts 34-11 0-0
20 13 USC Aiken Pacers 36-17 0-2
21 NR  Florida Southern Moccasins 35-19 3-2
22 17 Southern Arkansas Muleriders 37-19 1-2
23 NR  St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans 39-16 4-1
24 23 Southern New Hampshire Penmen 41-14 2-2
*25  18 Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils 36-17 0-2
*25  24 Wilmington (DE) Wildcats 33-9-1 1-2

Dropped Out: Augustana (22), Georgia College (25)
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