KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Bellevue University baseball team, coming off a 51-11 season in which they won the North Star Athletic Association regular-season championship, is once again favored to win the league title as announced by the league office.
Bellevue tallied eight of nine first place votes to top the annual poll with 80 total points. Jamestown received the other first place votes and finished with 72 points. Mayville State (61 points) and Valley City State (55 points) were also chosen among the top four while Waldorf and Viterbo shared fifth place honors with 37 points apiece. Dickinson State (34), Presentation (18), and Dakota State (11) rounded out the poll.
Each school will play 24 league games this spring with the top eight teams qualifying for the NSAA Tournament to be held May 4-7 at co-hosts Jamestown and Valley City State. The Tournament winner will receive the NSAA's lone automatic bid to the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round to be held from May 14-17 at nine sites.
Additionally, the Bruins are ranked ninth in the 2018 NAIA Baseball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll that came out Tuesday. Bellevue finished last year ranked No. 11 and hosted an Opening Round Bracket which saw them reach the final round.
The National Preseason Poll was headlined by three-time defending NAIA National Champion Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) who garnered all 17 first place votes and 467 points. Faulkner (Ala.) was second followed by Oklahoma City, Southeastern (Fla.), and Oklahoma Wesleyan to round out the top five.
William Carey (Miss.) and Missouri Baptist tied for sixth in the poll. Bellevue placed ninth with 341 points between No. 8 Hope International (Calif.) and No. 10 Keiser (Fla.). Jamestown was the only other NSAA program recognized in the poll, earning 51 points and falling under the headline "Others Receiving Votes."