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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — East Texas Baptist, whose last loss came on May 12, 2019, and was a perfect 15-0 when the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season, starts 2021 right where it left off — as the top team in the NFCA Division III Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The Tigers were able to play one final game in 2020 after going 4-0 to capture the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Ariz., defeating Baldwin Wallace, 7-1, on March 10, two days before the NCAA announced it was canceling all spring championships.

East Texas Baptist beat three ranked teams — DePauw, Emory and St. John Fisher — at the Leadoff. The Tigers’ last loss was to eventual national champion Texas Lutheran in the 2019 NCAA Marshall Regional.

The Bulldogs, who start second in the rankings, spent the last two weeks of 2020 in that spot, and were 19-1 when the season was halted. Christopher Newport, Virginia Wesleyan and Salisbury round out the top five, followed by Linfield, NFCA Division III Leadoff runner-up Central, Kean, DePauw and Berry.

Illinois Wesleyan, who was 9-1 and finished fourth in the Top 25 last season, suffered significant graduation losses, including 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III Pitcher of the Year Ally Wiegand, so the Titans open 2021 in the receiving votes category.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Final 2020 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses. In 2021, schools that are not competing will not be eligible for the poll.  

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – Feb. 3, 2021

Rank

Team

2020 Record

Points

1

East Texas Baptist (8)

15-0

200

2

Texas Lutheran

19-1

192

3

Christopher Newport

12-1

184

4

Virginia Wesleyan

11-1

176

5

Salisbury

17-3

168

6

Linfield

12-2

160

7

Central (Iowa)

6-1

152

8

Kean

9-1

144

9

DePauw

6-3

136

10

Berry

12-2

128

11

St. John Fisher

7-3

100

12

Transylvania

9-1

96

13

Mary Hardin-Baylor

12-3

87

14

St. Olaf

7-1

79

15

Milwaukee School of Engineering

9-1

77

16

Eastern Connecticut State

2-0

69

17

Carthage

10-2

61

18

Birmingham-Southern

14-4

55

19

Moravian

9-1

52

20

Geneseo

4-1

44

21

Wisconsin-La Crosse

2-2

42

22

Trine

7-3

40

23

Randolph-Macon

8-3-1

29

24

Tufts

0-0

23

25

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

12-0

21

Others receiving votes: Maryville (Tenn.) 19, Illinois Wesleyan 17, Ferrum 12, Williams 11, St. Catherine 8, Wisconsin-Oshkosh 7, Manhattanville 6, Mount Union 3, Averett 2.

Programs that do not participate during the 2021 season will not be eligible for the poll.

2021 NFCA DIII Top 25 Committee

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