ESU Baseball ranked No. 1 in first Central Region poll

ESU Sports
Don Weast, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

The first NCAA Regional rankings have been released and Emporia State is ranked #1 in the Central Region. The regional rankings determine the participants in the NCAA Tournament with automatic qualifiers from the MIAA, Northern Sun and Great American Conferences joined by the next five highest ranked regional teams.

Emporia State is 35-8 on the season after Tuesday night’s 13-7 win at Washburn in ten innings that gave coach Bob Fornelli a record 558 wins at Emporia State. The Hornets, ranked #11 in the College Baseball News national poll, are 24-6 in the MIAA with a three game lead over Central Missouri.

NSIC leading Minnesota State is 34-7 on the year and ranked second in the region. Central Missouri is third in the region with a 30-12 overall record. St. Cloud State from the NSIC is 32-12 and ranked fourth in the Central. Southern Arkansas is 34-11 and has secured the top seed in the GAC Tournament. Southwest Baptist is ranked sixth in the region with a 28-15 overall record. Arkansas Tech is second in the GAC and 29-18 on the year to come in seventh in the first rankings. Missouri Western rounds out the top eight in the first regional rankings with a 25-18 record. Northwest Missouri at 27-16 and Lindenwood at 26-17 round out the top ten this week.

CENTRAL Team D-II Record In-Region Record
1 Emporia State 34-8 32-7
2 Minnesota State 34-7 30-4
3 Central Missouri 27-12 23-11
4 St. Cloud State 29-12 28-11
5 Southern Arkansas 30-10 30-10
6 Southwest Baptist 28-13 28-13
7 Arkansas Tech 28-15 28-15
8 Missouri Western 25-17 25-16
9 Northwest Missouri 26-16 26-16
10 Lindenwood 25-16 22-15

Due to the forecast of rain this weekend a change has been made to the schedule for Emporia State’s three game series with Northwest Missouri. The two regionally ranked teams will meet in a double header on Friday starting at 2:00 p.m. at the Trusler Sports Complex. The final game is tentatively scheduled for Saturday at 1:00 p.m. but may be moved to Sunday.

Coach Bob Fornelli will be recognized prior to the first game on Friday for breaking Dave Bingham’s Emporia State record of 557 wins with a 13-7 win over Washburn. The final two games of the series will be aired on KFFX 104.9FM starting with the second game of Friday’s double header at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The Hornets will honor ten seniors prior to the start of the final game of the series.

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