2016 SIAC Baseball Conference Championship to Commence Under Gray Cloud

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) will conduct its baseball championship starting this Thursday and conclude over the weekend.  The tournament will be played at Eagle Stadium, Ozark, Alabama.

The top four teams from both the Eastern and Western Divisions will compete in the double-elimination, four-day event with play starting Thursday, April 29th.  The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, May 1st. On day one of the SIAC tournament, play begins at 9:00 a.m.

Stillman College, with its amazing run, will enter the tournament as the #1 seed from the West Division with foes Miles College, Kentucky State University and Tuskegee University. The East Division qualifiers are Albany State University, Paine College, Claflin University and Benedict College.

The following is the tournament game schedule with each team’s overall season and conference records in parentheses…

Thursday, April 28 
Game 1: 9 AM – 2E Paine (26-18, 13-7) vs. 3W Kentucky State (13-28, 8-13)
Game 2: 12 PM – 1W Stillman (24-22, 16-5) vs. 4E Benedict (26-17, 8-9)
Game 3: 3 PM – 2W Miles (29-15, 12-5) vs. 3E Claflin (20-27, 13-8)
Game 4: 6 PM – 1E Albany State (14-33, 12-6) vs. 4W Tuskegee (11-27, 6-12)
Friday, April 29
Game 5: 9 AM – Gm 1 loser vs. Gm 2 loser
Game 6: 12 PM – Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser
Game 7: 3 PM – Gm 1 winner vs. Gm 2 winner
Game 8: 6 PM – Gm 3 winner vs. Gm 4 winner
Saturday, April 30
Game 9: 9AM – Gm 7 loser vs. Gm 6 winner
Game 10: 12 PM – Gm 8 loser vs. Gm 5 winner
Game 11: 3 PM – Gm 7 winner vs Gm 8 winner
Game 12: 6 PM – Gm 9 winner vs. Gm 10 winner
Sunday, May 1 
Game 13: 12 PM – Gm 11 loser vs. Gm 12 winner
Game 14: 3 PM – Gm 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner

Coming into the SIAC tournament, unofficial sources claim the Benedict College Tigers ballclub seems to have received a gift from SIAC officials in the form of the last seed in the 2016 SIAC Championship tournament. The conference had recently assigned three forfeit losses to Benedict for games during the regular season with Albany State. The Benedict Tigers had scheduled a three-game series with Albany State University for this past March 26th and then cancelled without a makeup date. Albany State had tried in vain to reschedule a makeup date. Benedict’s revised conference record would have stood at 8-12 and tied with Clark Atlanta University for the final tournament seeding. Both schools were scheduled to face one last opponent on Monday. However, the SIAC rescinded those forfeits, reverting Benedict’s record to 8-9 and then cancelled both teams’ final regular season games, which obviously left more than one party unhappy.

The SIAC issued a memorandum for all spring sports coaches this past April 12, making aware that “coaches do not have the authority to unilaterally pull teams from competition.” Sources indicate that the advisory was only issued to Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis and Softball, but not baseball where the biggest infractions seem to have occurred. This week, the SIAC specifically addressed those baseball issues.

Benedict is ranked along with three other SIAC members in Black College Nines Top 10 HBCU baseball poll and has set NCAA Division II stolen base standards for seven years straight.

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