PNG ranked No. 12 in CBS MaxPreps national poll

Published 11:33 am Monday, June 12, 2017

Port Neches-Groves’ baseball team broke into a national poll two days after capturing the 5A state championship.

The Indians are ranked 12th in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 50 Baseball Rankings, released Monday. They are the highest-ranked Texas team and highest-ranked among those that were previously not in the poll. They’re also just one spot ahead of 6A champion Deer Park.

PNG (34-8-2) was highlighted in a MaxPreps story (click here) released Monday. It was written PNG was not favored against then-13th ranked Frisco Wakeland in the 5A semifinal game Thursday in Round Rock, but they won that 3-2 and beat defending Grapevine 4-2 in Saturday’s title game.

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PNG beat Deer Park 4-3 on Feb. 24. Deer Park moved up from No. 23.
Xcellent 50 organizer Kevin Askeland said PNG wasn’t ranked very high going into last week’s UIL state tournament, but the losses of Corpus Christi Moody, Frisco Wakeland and Grapevine allowed the Indians to move into the Xcellent 50.

“Lots of upsets in nearly every state this year, so it has made ranking teams that much more difficult,” Askeland told The News in an email Monday. “In Connecticut, for example, the No. 32 seed (out of 32) won the state large school title. Things like that have happened in Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, California and now Texas. So that’s sort of the reason PNG has gone from being unranked all season long to being ranked No. 12 ranked this week.”

The poll is not final as two higher-ranked teams, No. 10 Saline (Mich.) and No. 11 Indianapolis Cathedral are still continuing their seasons. An official national champion will be named by MaxPreps on June 19.

MaxPreps also releases national computer rankings, and the Indians were ranked No. 54 out of 15,980 teams as of Friday. That ranking will be updated Tuesday and then several more times before the final ratings are published June 27.

Askeland said the way he starts to organize the Xcellent 50 rankings is by taking an exhaustive look at the top teams in the country by contacting coaches from the top 500 teams in the computer rankings from the previous year and rank them based on factors such as returning starters, top-ranked players and past history. He also tries to follow state rankings and tracks national and state tournaments as the season goes on.


I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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