The month of April was significant for many D2 Baseball programs as the conference schedule became an every day grind and the playoffs were just a month away from becoming reality.
While some teams crumbled under the pressure to perform well, these five to follow were sensational all month long and catapulted up the BennettRank rankings as a result of their play.
While each deserves recognition for their success, only one can be the team of the month. While it might be hard to decide, make sure you vote for your favorite choice below and see who takes home the honor for April.
Vote at the poll at the bottom of the page. Polls close Monday, May 8 at noon, Pacific.
BR-65 Arkansas Tech
The Wonder Boys started the month of April on a tear, winning four straight to improve their record to 24-13 at the time, and never really looking back in the Great American Conference.
Still sitting in second place behind Southern Arkansas in the conference standings, Tech was able to take three-of-four from the Muleriders during the month of April, which helped to catapult them up the standings and show they are to be taken seriously in the upcoming GAC Tournament.
With a great fourth month of the year, Arkansas Tech is now a solid contender in the Central region, and is a candidate definitely worthy of being team of the month.
The records in both categories may not stand out from a crowd, but what Barry accomplished in the month of April is something even some great teams fail to do every year: win the games they must win.
The Bucs had seven wins in the entire month, but took down a very good Nova SE team on April 1, and then took important series against Rollins and Lynn who both are behind Barry in the Sunshine State standings. So many times in the game of baseball, a loss against teams behind you in the standings can cause you to slide, and while Barry hasn't made a big jump in the standings, they aren't falling either.
It wasn't the dazzling record every team hopes to have, but it was definitely the clutch moment that teams seek to come, and so often fail at. But the Barry Bucs did anything but fail.
Overall Record: 31-15 (18-6, GLVC)
April Record: 15-5
Notable April Wins: St. Joseph's; Indianapolis
After starting off with a slow 6-5 record to the month of April, Bellarmine caught on fire towards the back half of the month and finished with nine consecutive wins to bring themselves to second place in the GLVC East Division, just one game back of Southern Indiana.
The most important wins for the Knights in April were against ranked SJC and UIndy teams who have been two of the best in the GLVC this year and in years prior. At the time, SJC was ranked 23rd and Indy at 12th, so those wins against top-25 programs are definitely resume builders as the NCAA Tournament selection comes around in about a week.
It's not about how you start, but how you finish. And Bellarmine put that into use for April as they ended on a true tear through the schedule.
Malone took a very similar path to Bellarmine during the month of April, starting off a little slow before catching fire with a 10-game win streak was born in the last week or so of the month.
Some of those wins in the stretch of 10 straight were also against teams in the GMAC, specifically Trevecca who is just in front of the Pioneers in the conference standings right now. With six teams making the conference tournament, two will get a bye and Malone is just barely behind getting the first seed, and just a flick of the switch away from tumbling into third place.
Anytime you can get a long win streak going, you are going to be set up for long success. But when that streak includes some heavy-hitting conference foes, your future might be even brighter.
BR-42 Missouri Western State
April Record: 13-5
Notable April Wins: Central Missouri; Central Oklahoma; Fort Hays
Starting the stretch in April with a 1-4 mark, MO Western was definitely looking like they might be a contender who slid when it mattered most on their schedule. But, like the other teams on this list, the Griffons rebounded quickly and produced a great record in their 18 games played.
The main part to the success of the Griffons came with a nine-game winning streak that was part of a 12-1 stretch to end the month. The most important wins during that stretch came against conference foe Central Missouri who is regarded as one of the best programs in the country.
With just a week before the conference tournament begins, Western is looking like a big-time threat out of the Central region and should be a possible dark horse to get into the D2 World Series.