2017 HBCU Baseball Predictions – Small School Conferences

As the 2017 college baseball season opens, we look at and make predictions ranking Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) “small school” teams within their conferences.

Using statistical information of returning players from last season, reviewing what team needs were filled with freshmen and other incoming players and with an eye towards pitching, Black College Nines presents its predictions for each conference and some ball players who can help their teams reach the top:

2017 Predicted Order of Finish

Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA)

  1. Winston Salem State University 31-22
  2. Lincoln University (PA) 5-31
  3. Virginia State University 8-31
  4. St Augustine’s College 13-33

Winston Salem State University

What do the Rams always have? Hitting.  

Lincoln University (PA)

I think they will be in the mix this season. Don’t be surprised if they overtake WSSU.

Virginia State University

They return some good players but have holes to fill.                  

St Augustine’s College

I think they will be in the mix next season. This year’s top recruits eligibility issues.        

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The CIAA:

2B Randy Norris (Winston Salem State University)

C Michael McNamara (Winston Salem State University)

P Marquis Johnson (St. Augustine’s University)


2017 Predicted Order of Finish

Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) 

East Division

  1. Claflin 21-23
  2. Paine  27-20
  3. Benedict 25-16
  4. Albany State 14-35
  5. Clark Atlanta 12-31
  6. Morehouse 17-27

West Division

  1. Miles 32-17
  2. Tuskegee 13-29
  3. Lane 3-32
  4. LeMoyne-Owen 8-33
  5. Kentucky State 14-29

East

Claflin

The lineup is loaded and the pitching is usually pretty strong. This year is no different.

Paine

Now, with lots of players with experience on their roster, can turn that experience into more regular season success.

Benedict

Offensively, the Tigers will lean on David White, Jr. Last season, White did a bit of everything for the Tigers, hitting .409, with 14 HR and 49 RBI.

Albany State

New Head Coach Scot Hemmings, former JUCO coach. Before coming to Albany State recruits either transferred to NCAA DI or major League draft picks.                       

Clark Atlanta

It remains to be seen, of course, but the Panthers do boast some nice pieces, including INF/RHP Jordan Johnson

Morehouse

Nothing outstanding but nothing horrible either. They have a few good players and one or two ok arms in the rotation.

West

Miles

New Head Coach Ty Roberts, a former player and assistant for the Golden Bears, they have to be considered favorites to do it all over again.                                  

Tuskegee

Pitching was the big culprit last year but hitting was minimal also. Last season’s coach was an assistant for the football program. New coach Reginald Hollins, former baseball assistant, can turn the program around. 

Lane 

The team hadn’t won more than 5 games since 2010. Now that Stanley Stubbs at the helm. Contenders.

LeMoyne-Owen

There has been an huge upgrade in the pitching rotation given what coach Marcus Smith recruited it’s probably not smart to bet against them.

Kentucky State

There is some talent on this team from last season that has not shown itself yet.

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The SIAC:

3B Rashad Bivens (Claflin University)
SS Reginald Rogers (Claflin University)
OF David White, Jr. (Benedict College)
P Evan Krenz  (Paine College)
1B Jalen Luter (Tuskegee University)
3B Fentress Henderson (Paine College)
SS Ricky Caruajal (Paine College)
OF Lyndale Mosley (Claflin University)
OF Darione Adkison (Miles College)
P Austin Pate (Miles College)
RP Jordan Johnson (Clark Atlanta University)


2017 Predicted Order of Finish
Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC)

  1. Jarvis Christian 27-29
  2. Huston-Tillotson 18-25
  3. Wiley 16-38
  4. Texas College 5-38

Jarvis Christian

Can Jarvis take over the top spot in the conference? Maybe, but teams will have some serious issues while playing them. They can flat out hit.

Huston-Tillotson

Last year they had decent pitching which helped them win more than a little bit. I still think they need a few more arms to be a threat.

Wiley

I see some up and down most of the year, towards the end might surprise some conference members push and get a spot in the conference tournament.

Texas College

The new coach has brought in a different attitude and DI experience. Has some talent on this team. It will show.

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The RRAC: 

1B Carlos Andrade (Jarvis Christian College)

P Emmanuel Pantaleon (Wiley College)

OF DeAndre McGuire (Jarvis Christian College)

C Oswaldo Palacios  (Wiley College)


2017 Predicted Order of Finish
Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC)

  1. Edward Waters 31-13
  2. Talladega 21-28
  3. Tougaloo 9-42

Edward Waters

Really good lineup at the plate in the field and the pitching is usually pretty strong. One hiccup. Conference foe Talladega.

Talladega

Coming into this season, it’s tough to know what to make of the Tornados. New head coach who did some heavy recruiting. They will be without key offensive pieces, but they find ways to win in the conference.

Tougaloo

Returning players able to make adjustments at the plate during the course of a ballgame. They will competed might surprise some teams.

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The RRAC:

OF Miguel Beltre (Edward Waters College)
RP Richard Edwards (Edward Waters College)
2B Jordan Pontious (Edward Waters College)
P Frederick Belz (Edward Waters College)


2017 Predicted Order of Finish
Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

Association Of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.)    

  1. Stillman 27-24
  2. Voorhees 14-19
  3. Morris 0-13

Stillman

Offensively, they lost a couple of veterans, but return a number of key contributors from last year’s squad.

Voorhees

The job that JT Thomas has done at Voorhees can’t be understated. The team has increased its win total in each season under Thomas. Now with lots of players on their roster, they have depth to increase last season (14) win total.

Morris

Morris track record, season starts in March, plays 15 to 18 games a season. Not much expected.

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The A.I.I.:

OF Josh McDaniel (Stillman College)

 

 

 

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