Panthers remain at number one

Published 12:36 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They’re still number one.

The LaGrange College Panthers have maintained the top spot in both major NCAA Division III national baseball polls.

The Panthers moved up to number one last week in the poll, as well as the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball poll.

The Panthers (38-4), who completed a spectacular regular season with a doubleheaders sweep of Greensboro on April 22, remained in first place in both polls this week.

LaGrange College, which won the USA South championship, will compete in an NCAA regional on May 18.

The Panthers will find out which one of the regionals they’ll be participating  in on Sunday when the NCAA field is announced.

In the poll, the Panthers are a commanding number one.

Of the 25 first-place votes that were cast, the Panthers received 22 of them.

Johns Hopkin (36-6), the second-ranked team, received two first-place votes.

Wisconsin-Whitewater (32-6), which is ranked third, received one first-place vote.

Cortland (33-7) and Birmingham-Southern (36-8), which handed LaGrange College two of its regular-season losses, round out the top five.

In the Collegiate Baseball poll, the top five consists of LaGrange College, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Texas-Tyler, Johns Hopkins and Birmingham-Southern.

The Panthers weren’t ranked in either poll at the start of the season, but they’ve steadily climbed the ladder as the year has progressed.

The Panthers have more wins than any Division III team in the country, and they’ll carry an eight-game winning streak into the NCAA tournament. The eight regional winners will advance to the Division III championship in Wisconsin.