Northwestern, with 99 points and nine first place votes, is the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) baseball coaches' choice to win the 2014 league title. The Red Raiders, who won the GPAC regular and postseason championships last spring, posted a 31-19 record in 2013 (17-3 in the GPAC).
Midland was the GPAC's second representative, and joined Northwestern, in the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round. The Warriors, at 31-26 in 2013, were the runner-ups of the GPAC postseason tournament.
The GPAC baseball season will consist of 20 games (10 doubleheaders) and conclude with the GPAC Postseason Tournament on May 1-3 in Mitchell, South Dakota, at Cadwell Park and Drake Field.
New to GPAC baseball in 2014 is that conference doubleheaders will consist of one seven inning and one nine inning game (prior was two – seven inning games). The seven inning game will be played first in the doubleheader. If the first game goes to extra innings the second game automatically becomes a seven inning contest. "The postseason in the NAIA is all nine inning games and we felt the need to start and prepare our teams during the regular season for this change and type of game," said Corey Westra, GPAC Commissioner. "The one-seven and one-nine inning game doubleheader is a good compromise and use of our time and travel in the conference." "I am excited to see nine-inning games during the GPAC regular season and how our teams will adjust and compete," added Westra.
Points were assigned on a 10-1 basis and coaches' could not vote for their own team.
Here is the complete GPAC Baseball 2014 preseason coaches' poll:
First Place Votes
- Mount Marty
- Dakota Wesleyan
- Nebraska Wesleyan
- Briar Cliff