Southeastern Lions experiencing meteoric rise in national respect in college baseball
HAMMOND, La. – With three NCAA Regional appearances in the last four seasons, expectations are for the Southeastern Louisiana baseball program to earn a postseason bid annually. Along with the expectations have come national respect, evident in the latest round of D1Baseball’s ranking of the top programs in the nation.
Coming in with a No. 55 ranking in the latest round, the Lions have enjoyed a meteoric rise of some 40 spots since the initial rankings in 2015.
“I’m extremely proud of the commitment from both our players and administration to help us grow the program into one of the best in the country, not just the region,” head coach Matt Riser said. “The growth we have experienced in player personnel and facilities has played a huge part in the success leading us to the status of consistent national contender. We continue to desire more and refuse to be content with the growth until we wind up at the top. It is that desire that has led Southeastern to now be known as one of the absolute best outside the Power 5 conferences.”
Noting the rising star of Riser’s national profile and what has been accomplished by growing the base established by athletic director Jay Artigues, D1Baseball also mentions the “passionate” Lion fan base, rich recruiting area and solid facility belonging to Southeastern.
After missing out on the NCAA postseason in 2015 following a record-setting season, the Lions have earned back-to-back at-large bids. Southeastern is the only school outside the Power 5 conferences to accomplish the feat.
Since the beginning of the biannual rankings, Southeastern has powered past such well-known programs as Baylor, FIU, Fresno State, Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oral Roberts, Pepperdine, San Diego, South Florida, Southern Cal, Tulane, UCF and Wichita State.
“Tradition is nice, but it’s more important to establish a tradition of consistent winning in the last decade, and especially in the last five years,” D1Baseball editors said in creating the rankings. “Our ultimate goal here is to identify the programs in the best shape right now, with an eye toward the next five to 10 years.
“So we began by awarding programs points for making regionals and having postseason success in the last five years, and a fewer amount of points for success between six and 10 years ago. That gave us a starting point; then editors Aaron Fitt and Kendall Rogers made adjustments based on evaluations of coaching staff quality and stability, facilities, scholarship/financial aid situation, conference dynamics, momentum, and recruiting and player development proficiency.”
The preeminent one-stop shop for college baseball, D1Baseball features national pundits Mark Etheridge, Fitt, Kyle Peterson, Rogers and Eric “Stitch Head” Sorenson.
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