UAFS Atop First 2018 Regional Rankings

UAFS Sports Information

FORT SMITH (KFSM) – The UAFS baseball team is ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Division II South Central Region Poll of the season released Wednesday evening.

It is the first time the baseball team has been ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region Poll and the first time for any UAFS team to be ranked No. 1 in any NCAA Division II South Central Region Poll.

UAFS (29-12), which is ranked No. 25 in the latest NCBWA Division II Top 25, is one of three Heartland Conference teams represented in the poll. St. Edward’s (23-18) is No. 7, and St. Mary’s (27-15) is No. 8.

Colorado School of Mines (28-10) is No. 2, Texas A&M-Kingsville (31-10) is No. 3, Angelo State (28-14) is No. 4, Colorado Mesa (29-12) is No. 5 and West Texas A&M (32-9) is No. 7.

The region poll helps to determine at-large bids and seeding in the South Central Region of the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Six teams qualify for the region tournament with three teams – the winners of the conference tournaments from the Heartland, Lone Star and Rocky Mountain conferences – receiving automatic bids.

UAFS has eight regular-season games remaining before the conference tournament – a four-game home stand against Oklahoma Christian on Friday and Saturday and a four-game road series against Lubbock Christian on May 3-4.

UAFS and Oklahoma Christian will play each other for the second time this season, but the second time around, obviously, carries much greater implications for the Lions. UAFS is 14-6 in conference play and holds a one-game lead over second-place Lubbock Christian (28-14, 13-7), which, surprisingly, is not ranked in the region poll.

The Lions beat the Eagles 3-1 in the first four-game series – a nonconference series – on March 16-17 at Dobson Field in Oklahoma City. UAFS and Oklahoma Christian will play a doubleheader at 4 p.m. on Friday and a doubleheader at noon on Saturday at Crowder Field. It will be the final home series of the season for UAFS.

UAFS is coming off a split in its four-game conference series against St. Mary’s this past weekend at Crowder Field.

The Lions, who are ranked No. 3 in the latest NCBWA Division II South Central Region Poll, need only six more wins to tie the single-season record of 35 wins during the NCAA Division II era, which they set last season on their way to a runner-up finish in the South Central Region Tournament