The University of Central Missouri is coming off a 2016 Division 2 World Series appearance, an MIAA Conference Championship and this year has high hopes of returning to the World Series again. Central Missouri currently ranked #3 in the Division 2 National Preseason Poll will easily slide into my #1 ranking for Division 2 schools in the state of Missouri.
The Mules are coached by Kyle Crookes who enters his 3rd season at the Helm with a record of 73-37 overall in his previous 2 years with the school. UCM did lose 4 starters and their Ace Ethan Westphal creating a bit of a challenge out of the gate. However, the addition of local St. Charles product and Nebraska transfer Elijah Dilday should immediately help at the plate and in the outfield.
My 2nd favorite Division two school in my preseason poll would fall into the hands of Missouri S&T. S&T currently sits #35 in the national polls after coming up 1 game shy of a World Series appearance last year.
My surprise team to look out for in the state of Missouri would be Drury University. After an impressive GLVC championship in 2015, Drury seemed to fall off the map with a dismal 2016 season winning only 7 GLVC games. Despite the down year Drury still received some MLB attention with Sterling Sharp getting drafted by the Washington Nationals.
The Panthers under coach Scott Nasby had a great 2017 recruiting class highlighted by three division 1 prospects in Shane Benes (Missouri), Nic Perkins (Ole Miss) and Caleb Essick (Missouri State). Drury easily could be back for another GLVC title in 2017.
My 14 team ranking for Division 2 schools in the state of Missouri:
- Central Missouri (43-15) (32-7). [MIAA Conference] ( #3 Nationally)
- Missouri S&T (39-19) (19-9). [ GLVC Conference] ( #35 Nationally)
- Missouri Western (38-20) (26-13). [ MIAA Conference] (#73 Nationally)
- Drury (16-34) (7-21). [GLVC Conference] (#70 Nationally)
- UMSL (29-21) (11-17). [GLVC Conference] (#41 Nationally)
- Rockhurst (30-23) (18-10). [GLVC Conference] (#69 Nationally)
- Missouri Southern (38-20) (26-13). [ MIAA Conference]
- Northwest Missouri St. (25-28) (19-20). [MIAA Conference]
- Lindenwood (24-26) (18-21). [MIAA Conference]
- Willaim Jewell (32-22) (15-13). [GLVC Conference]
- Maryville (21-27) (12-16). [GLVC Conference]
- Truman (20-30) (12-16). [GLVC Conference]
- Southwest Baptist (22-28) (17-22) [MIAA Conference]