Baseball: Panthers ranked second in both Division III Top 25 polls

Baseball: Panthers ranked second in both Division III Top 25 polls

The LaGrange baseball team is ranked second in both Division III Top 25 polls released Tuesday. The Panthers (29-3) moved up up one spot in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA poll, while remaining second in ABCA/Collegiate Baseball poll.

The Panthers will close out the USA South portion of their schedule with a three-game series at Maryville beginning Friday. LC needs one win or a loss by Ferrum to clinch first place and the top seeding in next week's conference tournament.

LaGrange is coming off a three-game sweep at Methodist last weekend. The Panthers are 14-1 in conference play. Maryville enters the weekend 18-15 overall and 8-7 in conference play.

Senior Casey Bell is second in the USA South with a .386 batting average and is tied with teammate Blake Butcher for the RBI lead with 38. Butcher is second in the conference with seven home runs, while Blane Swift is tied for third with five. James Poropatic is third in hitting with a .381 average. Junior Ryan Broaderick and senior Andrew Weekley are tied for the conference lead with six wins each.

Nationally in Division III, the Panthers as a team are first in hits (336) and doubles (68) through games played through March 30.  Bell leads the nation with 50 hits and is second with 14 doubles. Butcher is second in hits with 48 and is first in total bases with 86.

D3baseball.com/NCBWA poll

ABCA/Collegiate Baseball poll