For the first time in 26 years, Westmont Baseball (33-14) is ranked in the NAIA National Coaches' Poll. Westmont is listed as the number 18 team in the poll released today by the national office in Kansas City.
The last time the Warriors were an NAIA ranked team was on May 3, 1988 when Westmont was ranked at number 20 under then head coach John Kirkgard. Later that day, Westmont rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat California Lutheran and earn their first Golden State Athletic Conference Baseball Championship. The 1988 team finished the season 30-17.
The best record in program history came a year later when the Warriors finished 34-16 but did not break into the national rankings. At the time, only the top 20 teams were considered ranked. In the final poll of May 15, 1989, Westmont was listed as receiving the 25th most votes (47).
Prior to 1988, Westmont had not been ranked since 1977. Under then head coach Mike Simpson, the Warriors were ranked at number 16. Westmont finished the 1977 season with a record of 29-16.
Today's national ranking marks another milestone for the Warriors under the leadership of head coach Robert Ruiz. Hired in June of 2009, Ruiz took over a program with a combined record of 66-286-1 (.188) over the previous eight years.
During the five years with Ruiz at the helm, Westmont has improved each season and tallied a record of 115-119-1 (.491). This year's squad is currently 19 games over .500. With three games remaining in the GSAC regular season schedule, the Warriors (20-13 GSAC) are in third place, two games out of first place.
This weekend, the Warriors conclude the regular season with a three-game series against No. 12 The Master's (35-13, 21-12). The Mustangs are in second place in the GSAC standings, one game ahead of the Warriors.