Power Surge Lifts Northwood-Florida Baseball In NAIA Poll
Northwood University’s Florida campus is home to some of the biggest sluggers in NAIA baseball this spring — and they just so happen to be swinging the Axe Bat.
The Seahawks from West Palm Beach enter the weekend with a 31-7 overall record and one of the most powerful offenses in the country; in their first season as an Axe Bat-exclusive program, they’re batting .307, averaging 7.5 runs and rank among the top 10 nationally in runs scored (288), home runs (31) and RBI (253).
This week, they moved up three spots to No. 4 in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Poll.
All things considered, it has been quite a year for Northwood. The Seahawks lost their longtime coach, Rick Smoliak, last February when he passed away unexpectedly in his sleep only a few weeks into the season. Under assistant coaches, the team finished 25-24-1, but missed the playoffs. Northwood entered this season unranked, then started with three straight losses.
But fortunes have turned in a hurry.
New head coach, Jeremy Kennedy, previously the head coach at Northwood’s Texas campus, has pushed all the right buttons and the Seahawks are soaring, winners of 12 in a row, their sights set on the program’s first postseason berth since 2008.
Ian Hest of ESPN West Palm recently visited campus to learn more. Check out his report below.by