March 22, 2010

Saints up one spot to No. 16 in Latest NCAA DII Poll

Complete Poll

DAHLONEGA, GA – After a week that saw the North Georgia baseball team take four of five games, the Saints are ranked for the fourth straight week in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division II Top 30 poll, moving up one spot to No. 16 with 240 total points.

After coming in at No. 17 a week ago, the Saints have moved up to No. 16 with a mid-week two-game series split with Carson-Newman College, before sweeping away PBC west division rival Montevallo in a weekend series.

North Georgia, currently 19-8 overall and 9-3 in the Peach Belt Conference, have won 11 of their last 14 games, including victories in all 10 series openers on the year. The Saints pounded Montevallo 6-1 and 7-3 in the first two games of a weekend series, before holding on and scoring the winning run in the eighth inning of the finale to come away with the 9-8 victory and series sweep.

Andre Airich paced the Saints last week, going .476 in five games with 10 runs batted in, including nine against Falcons in the three-game conference series. He belted his fourth home run in the middle game of the series and was perfect in the field, recording 11 putouts without an error at second base.

Chris Rearick continues to lead the pitching staff, improving to 6-0 on the year with a 6-1 victory over the Falcons. The senior scattered seven hits, allowing one earned run, while striking out seven batters. Rearick is set to make his eighth start of the season Friday evening against Lander University.

Five other Peach Belt Conference teams are ranked in the latest poll, more than any other league in the nation as USC Aiken jumped three spots to No. 7, followed by Columbus State at No. 9, while Francis Marion just missed the top 10, sitting at No. 11 in the country. With North Georgia at No. 16, UNC Pembroke replaces the Saints’ old ranking at No. 17, while GCSU slips into the poll at No. 19 after a weekend sweep of then 5th-ranked Columbus State.

Florida Southern is the nation’s top team for the fifth straight week, but now share the top ranking with UC San Diego after both clubs received 472 total votes. Central Missouri is up one spot to No. 3 in the country, while Southern Arkansas is fourth, and Mount Olive drops two spots to round out the country’s top five teams.  

The Saints have a full slate of games scheduled this week, starting with a Tuesday evening road trip to the University of West Georgia for a battle between the Peach Belt and Gulf South. First pitch against the Wolves is set for 5:00 p.m. at Cole Field.

North Georgia will then welcome Lander University to town, a team that is fresh off their first three-game conference sweep since the 2007 season. The Bearcats handed Armstrong Atlantic a trio of defeats over the weekend and will travel to Dahlonega for a primetime 7:00 p.m. game on Friday evening, before a doubleheader is slated for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.