Faulkner received all 18 first place votes.
Hastings (ISR #30) is #1 in strength of schedule.
#1 Faulkner split a midweek double-header with Talladega, 3-4 and 14-8. Kyle Chavez went the 7-inning distance in Talladega's win, allowed four hits, struck out 12. Story The Eagles then swept three games against Blue Mountain, 8-0, 10-0, and 10-2. They host #10 Tennessee Wesleyan March 8, then Brewton-Parker March 10-11. Video
#2 Oklahoma Wesleyan won two of three against Sterling (ISR #12), 8-7, 20-10, and 5-11. In the first game, courtesy runner D.J. Resnick stole home in the bottom of the ninth to win it. He got into the game when C Mikey Ortega reached on an error, went to second on a failed bunt attempt, and went to third on another error. RHP Lizandro Cruz, who struck out four of the six batters he faced, got the win. CF Chris Acosta-Tapia (Deauville, Quebec) hit three solo home runs, then hit two home runs and a double in the second game, batted in five runs. Story
The Eagles got two more wins against Roosevelt, 6-1 and 14-1. Acosta-Tapia went 3-for-4 in the first game; RHP Brayden Nelson got the win. Acosta-Tapia went 2-for-2 in the second game, with a three-run home run and a sacrifice fly. RHP Chase Broesky got the win.
Acosta-Tapia leads the NAIA with 12 home runs. Trevor Achenbach leads the NAIA with 40 RBI, and Alejandro Hernandez (Maracay, Venezuela) is second with 35 RBI. Achenbach has ten home runs, which puts him second in the NAIA.
The Eagles visit 14-4 Tabor March 10-11.
#2 Georgia Gwinnett won two of three at home against #20 Northwestern Ohio, 12-10, 4-5, and 10-9 (11 innings). Eight of the Grizzlies' runs in the first game were unearned. In the second game, the Racers scored the winning run in the top of the ninth when SS Jeff Cardenas was hit by a pitch. Story C Jean Paul Rodriguez hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th to win the third game. The Grizzles led 7-3 going into the ninth. The Racers score six runs in the top of the ninth, led by a two-RBI double by 3B Jose Paulino. The Grizzlies answered with a run walked in, then Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to send it into extra innings. Rodriguez finished 3-for-5 with three RBI. Story
The Grizzlies have a long streak of home games ahead of them. They play Madonna March 9, #8 Lewis-Clark State March 9-10, Madonna again March 11, Indiana Tech March 12, and Point March 14. Video
#4 Oklahoma City defeated non-NAIA Dallas Christian 15-2, lost to Peru State 10-5, defeated Peru State 12-5, and defeated Roosevelt 22-11. In the loss to Peru State, the Bobcats scored five runs in the ninth inning, four of them unearned. Story The Stars out-hit the Bobcats 18-6 in the win; LF Jared Baker hit a three-run home run, and RF Cory Linn his a solo home run. Roberto Delgado got the win, went seven innings, allowed four hits, struck out eight. Story The Stars hit seven home runs against Roosevelt; Linn and Baker each hit two. Story
The Stars open their Sooner Athletic Conference schedule at home against 16-6 Southwestern Christian March 9-11. Video
#5 Keiser won two of three at home against Davenport (ISR #18), 10-2, 0-3, and 4-0. LHP Grant Wolfram pitched the seven-inning shutout for the Panthers in the second game, allowed five hits, struck out nine. RHP Miguel Castellanos (Cabimas, Venezuela, transfer from Faulkner) pitched a nine-inning shutout for the Seahawks in the third game, allowed four hits, struck out seven. 3B Jack Curtis singled in the winning run in the fifth inning. Story
The Seahawks lost a game the next day to #18 Bellevue, 6-1. RHP Todd Nicks got the win for the Bruins, went 7 1/3 innings, didn't allow an earned run, allowed six hits, struck out nine. This was a one-run ball game until the top of the ninth, when LF Derik Bontempo hit a two-run home run. RHP Keivan Berges got the loss. Story
The Seahawks host Saint Joseph's (VT) March 9, and Olivet Nazarene March 10-11. Video
#6 Menlo swept Arizona Christian on the road, 10-2, 10-4, and 8-4. 3B Joe Gillette went 3-for-4 with two home runs (the second one was the winning run) and four RBI in the first game. Story CF Jordan Getzelman's home run was the winning run in the second game. Another Getzelman home run was the winning run in the third game. Story
The Oaks are 6-0 in Golden State Athletic Conference play. They visit Biola March 9 Video, and San Diego Christian March 10-11.
#7 Southeastern got their first loss of the season, 8-3 to Davenport (ISR #18). The Panthers got home runs from 3B Brandon Larkin-Guilfoyle and 1B Oscar Heredia. LHP Justin Palmbos got the win. Story
The Fire then swept Saint Xavier, 3-2, 8-0, and 19-1. LF Luis Diaz hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh and final inning to win the first game. Kade Wagner went the distance for the Fire, allowed two hits, struck out five. Three Fire pitchers combined for the five-hit shutout in the second game; starter Jamal Wilson got the win, went five innings, allowed three hits, struck out seven. Story
The Fire then got two more wins against Saint Francis (IL), 9-4 and 9-8. The first game was close until the Fire pulled away with four runs in the eighth inning, including home runs by pinch-hitter Gerald Ceballos and 2B De'John Suber. Chris Coletti, who threw eight pitches, got the win. Story 2B Angel Garced hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to win the second game.
The Fire play Lawrence Tech at a neutral site March 8, host Purdue-Northwest March 11, and play Concordia (MI) and Mount Marty at a neutral site March 12.