Conference tournaments are underway, and the Road to Cary has officially begun. This week, we get our first numbered regional rankings to provide more clarity for the DII baseball championship.
Which is good, because the Power 10 shuffle has been anything but clear. Well, aside from North Greenville still sitting at the top.
Every game is huge at this point in the season, so no need for the weekly series to watch. Let's get right to it.
The ninth DII baseball Power 10 rankings of 2023 season
(All games through April 30)
No. 1 North Greenville | Previous: 1: The Crusaders finish the regular season 44-6 and have the most wins against teams with a .500 or better record in DII baseball of nationally ranked teams. John Michael Faile became the DII baseball all-time leader in RBIs. Though his statistics don't reflect years past, he is crushing the ball right now (I saw him drill a double to the deepest part of the ballpark in a midweek game against North Georgia and I can confirm he looks just fine). The Southeast is no cake walk, but North Greenville has been No. 1 for nearly a calendar year, and it is theirs to lose.
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No. 2 Quincy | Previous: 5: The Hawks must have been angered I dropped them last week. They came out and beat Central Missouri in a midweek-er and then crushed Drury, scoring 57 runs in a four-game sweep. This team had the highest performance indicator in the Midwest by nearly two points and has the best RPI amongst ranked teams. That's not to mention that the Hawks have handled business against teams with winning records, sitting just behind North Greenville in that department. Remember, the Hawks are also chasing history, just 0.02 points off the single-season home run per game mark.
No. 3 Millersville | Previous: 4: I don't know what else the Marauders have to do to be a consensus top-five team. They have played one of the toughest schedules among regionally ranked teams, have a top-five PI indicator and RPI, and have the third-best winning percentage in DII baseball. They had a huge series against West Chester messed up by rain this past weekend, but they did wind up sweeping a Tuesday doubleheader to clinch the PSAC East. Oh, they also have one of the top pitching staffs in DII baseball. Yes indeed, this team is good.
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No. 4 (tied) Angelo State, Tampa| Previous: 3 and 2, respectively: Both teams had surprising weekends, so thus both teams tie to remain in the top five. Tampa lost its first series since March, dropping two of three to Saint Leo. But let's not kid ourselves: The Spartans can still play ball and have all the metrics to be No. 1 in the South in their favor. Angelo State split a series with a West Texas A&M team looking to sneak back into the regional rankings. These two remain tied in the top five as two of the most well-balanced teams in DII baseball. The Spartans have a solid pitching staff and dangerous lineup, while the Rams have arguably the most potent offense in baseball with the potential DII pitcher of the year on the bump. Both teams are strong.
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No. 6 Colorado Mesa | Previous: 6: Believe it or not, despite being ranked behind Angelo State here, I think the Mavs rumble to the No. 1 seed in the South Central. The reason I have the Mavs below the Rams is because the way this team is built heavily relies on offense, and I feel the Rams are a deeper team built a little differently for the postseason. Make no mistake: Colorado Mesa is one of the hottest teams in the land. The Mavs have won nine in a row and scored 51 runs in two days to close out their most recent sweep. You better have some pitching if you want to eliminate these guys from the playoffs.
No. 7 West Florida | Previous: 10: I understand that I have been higher on the Argos than most the past few weeks, but last week they didn't even crack the top 15 in the national poll and I was rather befuddled. This team has won 16 games in a row and is without question the hottest team in DII baseball. They just swept nationally ranked Valdosta State, scoring 27 runs in the three-game sweep and also have a three-game sweep of regionally ranked West Georgia and a 2-1 series win over nationally ranked Montevallo over this span. The Argos aren't the most explosive offense or most dominating pitching staff, but as we saw with Rollins last year in the South, some teams just find the recipe to win. West Florida is cooking it up right now.
No. 8 Central Missouri | Previous: 7: The Mules won their fourth-straight MIAA title this past weekend, sweeping Fort Hays State to close the regular season. The midweek woes continued though, dropping an 8-6 ballgame to Quincy. Still, this team has been fantastic since adjusting after a rough opening and should be the No. 1 seed in the Central Region. The model of consistency in the Kyle Crookes era is simply remarkable: This team constantly loses top-tier DII baseball athletes, get overlooked in the preseason because of that, and then find themselves in the hunt for Cary like clockwork.
No. 9 Rollins | Previous: 8: Well, I have been higher than any on Florida Southern this year and what the Tars did to them this past weekend shows why they are a top-10 team. They unloaded for 49 runs in the three-game sweep and are back on track in the South Region. This team has a high RPI, has played a tough schedule, and does have some impressive series wins under their belt and must be considered a contender at this point. They have a tough end to the season against a Saint Leo team riding the momentum of the Tampa win and a sneaky tough Embry-Riddle team looking to play spoiler, but there is little reason to not believe Rollins won't handle its business.
No. 10 Newberry | Previous: Also considered: Okay Wolves fans. I told you I needed to see how Newberry closed the season before I boosted the Wolves up the rankings, and here we are. Newberry may have just ended Lenoir-Rhyne's season, winning five games in a row against the Bears (a three-game sweep to close the season and then two in a row a week later in the SAC tourney). Over that span, the Wolves RPI has climbed to second-best in the Southeast and they now sit at a very impressive 39-9. Braylin Marine and Donovan Ford lead this fun offense, both hitting over .400 while each contributing 38 or more stolen bases.
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First five (ish) out (in alphabetical order):
As it was in the Power 10, the first five out were very tight as well. Here's a few extra for you this week.
- Cal State Monterey Bay: I still have the Otters ahead of Cal State San Bernardino and expect them to be No. 1 in the West having played a tougher schedule with a higher RPI.
- East Stroudsburg: A 2-1 week has the Warriors back on track in a stacked PSAC. The pitching is pretty solid here, and if you know Northeast baseball, they are just getting started.
- Illinois Springfield: The Prairie Stars are right on the outside looking in after a 3-1 week. The way this team can score runs, a Quincy/UIS Super Region rematch would be must-watch streaming.
- Missouri Southern: Since back-to-back losses against Central Missouri, the Lions have won 10 of their last 12 games. This team has been a steady force since opening day.
- Seton Hill: The Griffins are on fire, winning their last 14 games in a row. They are also 24-0 in the PSAC with a big four-game tilt against regionally ranked Mercyhurst to close the regular season.
- Southern Arkansas: The Muleriders roller coaster ride in and out of the Power 10 continued this week, going 2-2 to close the regular season. They open the GAC tourney against a tricky Southeastern Oklahoma State, so a few wins and they are back in the Power 10.
- Southern New Hampshire: The Penmen should lock up the No. 1 seed in the East, now 23-1 in the NE10. They have a big weekend against regionally ranked Molloy to close the regular season which could be a tournament preview.
- Wayne State (MI): The Warriors rebounded from a series split with a 5-0 week. They haven't played the toughest schedule, but still have a top-25 RPI and have certainly delivered with a 34-9 record.
In the conversation
This is the best of the rest. The 2023 DII baseball season has been a great one thus far, and the top of the heap isn't that far apart. This list will remain for the rest of the season, in alphabetical order, and rounds out what would be a top 35.
- Alabama Huntsville
- Azusa Pacific
- Belmont Abbey
- Cal State San Bernardino
- Columbus State
- Florida Southern
- Minnesota State
- Mount Olive
- MSU Denver
- Ouachita Baptist
- Point Loma
- St. Edward's
- UT Tyler
- UNC Pembroke
- Valdosta State