Wednesday, November 02, 2022 – 02:30 PM
LAKELAND, Fla.- After a 59-4 season that concluded with the program’s second NAIA World Series title, the Southeastern University Fire have been voted No. 1 in the NAIA in the Top 25 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
The Fire took home the Sun Conference Tournament and Regular Season titles and advanced to Lewiston after going 3-0 in the Upland Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round. In Lewiston, the Fire would go 5-1 to claim the championship title with the only loss coming to No. 3 Lewis-Clark State by a score of 10-9.
Returning this season for the Fire is All-Sun Conference selection Isaac Nunez, NAIA All-American Gary Lora, and Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year and NAIA All-American, Robb Adams.
Adams, the left-handed pitcher, concluded his debut season with the Fire tied for the NAIA lead in wins with 14 and led the NAIA in innings pitched with 113.2, posting a 2.45 ERA. The junior also recorded 133 strikeouts which ranked eighth in the NAIA.
As the Fire’s designated hitter, Lora posted a .388 batting average with 20 home runs, 67 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of .454. His 94 hits were tied for the top spot on the Fire roster.
The shortstop, Nunez, racked up 89 hits, 71 RBIs, 10 home runs, and an average of .385 and was 28-34 on stolen bases. Nunez was also instrumental on defense with 163 assists and 69 putouts and was a part of 37 double plays.
Also returning to the Fire is Stephen Cullen who posted a .316 average with 12 home runs, 54 hits, and a .433 on-base percentage as well as 415 putouts and a .984 fielding percentage.
The Fire will be tasked with replacing two All-Americans including their top offensive producer in Brian Fuentes. Fuentes concluded the season leading the Fire in batting average (.418), runs (83), hits (94), home runs (25), RBIs (89), walks (33), and on-base percentage (.494). Southeastern will also be without Abdel Guadalupe who registered 89 hits, a .387 average, 19 home runs, and 60 RBIs.
Head coach Adrian Dinkle returns after being named the NAIA Coach of the Year and will enter his seventh year as head coach of the Fire.
|RANK||LAST||SCHOOL [FIRST-PLACE VOTES]||CONFERENCE||RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Southeastern (Fla.) ||The Sun||59-4||560|
|2||2||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||Cascade||58-7||541|
|4||4||LSU Shreveport (La.)||Red River||53-8||504|
|5||6||Bellevue (Neb.)||North Star||49-13||469|
|6||5||Faulkner (Ala.)||Southern States||39-17||466|
|8||12||St. Thomas (Fla.)||The Sun||41-19||419|
|9||7||Webber International (Fla.)||The Sun||43-22||406|
|10||13||Hope International (Calif.)||Golden State||43-15||390|
|12||10||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||Heart||39-18||371|
|13||9||Westmont (Calif.)||Golden State||45-13||348|
|14||15||Central Methodist (Mo.)||Heart||42-15||319|
|16||16||Vanguard (Calif.)||Golden State||44-15||236|
|17||NR||Oklahoma Wesleyan||Kansas Collegiare||38-19||235|
|18||19||Indiana Southeast (Ind.)||River States||39-16||201|
|19||17||Science & Arts (Okla.)||Sooner||36-15||194|
|21||RV||Concordia (Neb.)||Great Plains||40-17||174|
|22||23||University of Northwestern Ohio||Wolverine-Hoosier||38-14||160|
|23||23||Loyola (La.)||Southern States||36-24||154|
|25||RV||Keiser (Fla.)||The Sun||35-22||147|
Dropped From Poll: Ottawa (Kan.); Warner (Fla.); McPherson (Kan.); Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)
Others Receiving Votes: McPherson (Kan.) 142; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 96; Warner (Fla.) 78; Antelope Valley (Calif.) 71; Ottawa (Kan.) 63; British Columbia 25; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 23; Doane (Neb.) 22; Columbia (Mo.) 22; Point Park (Pa.) 19; Indiana Wesleyan 17; LSU Alexandria (La.) 10; William Carey (Miss.) 9; Milligan (Tenn.) 4
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