In a release issued Tuesday by the National Christian College Athletic Association, the College of the Ozarks baseball team moved into the Top Ten of the NCCAA, ranking #7 overall.
The NCCAA Top 10 Rankings are based on a variety of factors, which include season records and strength of the team’s opponents.
This is the first time the Bobcats have placed in the rankings, and they’ve done so on a team effort. One key factor in the Bobcats success has been the Cats’ solid pitching performances. Although the C of O pitching staff is not deep, the Cats’ starters have posted many complete games, allowing for regular starting rotations and minimal need for extensive relief pitching.
While keeping the opponents off the base path is critical, games cannot be won without scoring runs. The Cats are hitting .303 as a team and have posted 83 extra base hits in their 36 games. Each game, it seems a different player is stepping up to the plate and taking the lead, which allows the Cats the luxury of not having to rely on only one or two strong hitters.
Head coach Neale Richardson commented, “I believe the key to our team’s success this season is their strong work ethic and their ability to deal well with adversity.”
The Bobcats are currently 22-14 on the season, most recently picking up a split (3-1 win, 1-0 loss) against NAIA #22 ranked Missouri Baptist on Tuesday. The Bobcats have 12 games remaining in their regular season. A strong finish will qualify them for the A.I.I. Conference tournament to be held at Georgia Gwinnett College, with hopes of moving on to regional play.