Bruins favored in NSAA, ranked 23rd in NAIA Preseason Poll

Bruins favored in NSAA, ranked 23rd in NAIA Preseason Poll

NAIA Preseason Top 25 Release
NSAA Preseason Coaches' Poll Release

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Bellevue University baseball team is ranked 23rd in the 2019 NAIA Preseason Coaches' Top 25 Poll, as announced by the National Office on Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, the Bruins were chosen as the Preseason North Star Athletic Association favorites in a poll which was also released by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.

NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll

Defending National Champion Southeastern University topped the poll with 498 points, securing all 18 first place votes.

Freed-Hardeman University was picked second, edging out Georgia Gwinnett College 470-468. Faulkner University was picked fourth with 452 points followed by Lewis-Clark State College in fifth with 435.

St. Thomas University (416), University of Antelope Valley (397), Oklahoma City University (392), Oklahoma Wesleyan University (353), and University of Northwestern Ohio (341) rounded out the Top 10.

Bellevue earned 132 points in the poll to place 23rd, five points behind No. 22 Indiana Tech.

Last season Bellevue posted a 38-23 mark and claimed the North Star Athletic Association Tournament Championship with a thorough 21-1 victory over Presentation College. BU also reached the NAIA National Tournament for the eighth-straight season and the 21st time in program history.

The Bruins battled to a 17-5 record in league play en route to earning the No. 2 in the NSAA Tournament.

Mayville State was the only other team from the North Star receiving votes, picking up seven points to land in the Receiving Votes section of the poll.

NSAA Preseason Coaches' Poll

Bellevue snagged six of seven first place votes, earning 48 points to be chosen as the preseason favorite ahead of second-choice Mayville State. The Comets picked up 42 points and the remaining first place vote.

It marks the fourth-consecutive season in which the Bruins were chosen as the preseason favorite to win the league title. BU won the 2016 and 2017 NSAA regular-season championship as well as the 2016 and 2018 tournament titles.

Mayville State is the defending NSAA regular-season champion after a season in which they went 31-13 overall and 17-3 in North Star play.

Presentation was picked third with 31 points, followed by Viterbo with 26. Waldorf edge Valley City State for fifth picking up 22 points to the Vikings' 20. Dakota State rounded out the poll with seven points in seventh place.

The 2019 NSAA Tournament is scheduled for May 3-6 with the tournament champion earning the league's automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament. The site and format of the NSAA Tournament will be announced at a later date.

Bellevue opens the 2019 season on Saturday, Feb. 9 with a double-header against the University of Saint Mary at Bill Smith Ballpark in Chickasha, Okla.