|School||(1st)||Pts.||'00 Overalll||'00 NWC|
|George Fox University||(2)||68||31-10||18-6|
|Pacific Lutheran Univ.||50||19-18-1||13-11|
|Univ. of Puget Sound||42||17-24||11-13|
|Lewis & Clark College||18||16-22||9-15|
(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).
Willamette Narrow Choice to Win 2001
Spokane, Wash. - The one thing that the Northwest Conference coaches agree on about the upcoming 2001 baseball season is that the league race will be wide open. Willamette University is a narrow favorite over Linfield College and defending champion George Fox University to win the title. All three earned multiple first place votes.
2000 Player of the Year Nik Lubisich will lead Willamette, which finished third last season. The senior pitcher / utility player was 7-3 with a 1.93 earned run average and batted .377 last season. The Bearcats were picked first on four ballots and received 75 points in the poll.
Linfield, last season's runner-up in a close pennant race, was selected first on a pair of ballots and had 72 total points. Kevin Schjei, who was named All-NWC last season as a designated hitter after batting .405, will lead the Wildcats.
Defending champion George Fox must replace All-NWC pitchers Kess Romano and Ryan Alvis and All-NWC catcher Derek Birley, who all graduated. The Bruins picked up two first place votes and 68 total points.
Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound and Whitman College were tightly packed in the poll. PLU was selected in fourth place with 50 points and will be led by All-NWC pitcher Jason Andrew. Whitman College, picked to finish fifth, was the other school to receive a first place vote. The Missionaries have All-NWC catcher Adam Zaitz back to lead the attack. Puget Sound, with 42 points, is sixth in the poll. The Loggers finished fourth in 2000.
Pacific University, Lewis & Clark College and Whitworth College rounded out the poll. Pacific was seventh with 23 points and L&C and Whitworth tied for eighth with 18 points.