After getting no votes in the previous Top 25 poll, Oklahoma Baptist rolled off a second-place finish in the stacked Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament and picked up 100 votes in this week's poll.
That jump propelled the Bison to No. 21 in the final regular season poll released Wednesday.
The ranking doesn't do anything for the Bison as far as postseason is concerned because unlike other sports in the NAIA, baseball has a small national tournament field that requires winning at each level beyond the conference tournament. There are only two at-large berths to the tournament and those can't fall past No. 8 Mobile.
This is the final year for the regional format. Beginning next season, the NAIA will go to direct conference qualification for the national tournament in all sports. Baseball will be operated a little differently. After conference tournaments, there will be nine five-team sectional tournaments with the nine winners joining host Lewis-Clark State in the national tournament in Idaho.
The sectionals differ from the current regional set-up in that they may not include multiple teams from the same conference. The Sooner Athletic Conference will have at least two of those 45 teams and those two would likely not be directed to the same sectional. The new plan replaces the regional level of postseason and eliminates the super-regional.
OBU (44-14) continues in its final NAIA Region VI Tournament Thursday with a 6 p.m. contest against Oklahoma City University. Head Coach Bobby Cox will enter that game with 897 career wins - all at OBU.