The Selma University baseball team will start its quest to win a second college baseball championship May 13th in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Small College World Series in the city of DuBois, Pennsylvania. The Bulldogs will compete as the ninth seed and open play in the first game of the tournament against Penn State Mont Alto, the eighth seed.
The baseball program will make its ninth straight collegiate baseball playoff appearance, which began in 2010. This also marks head coach Adrian Holloway’s six straight postseason appearance since becoming the skipper in 2014.
Selma won the USCAA National Championship in 2009 and was one game away from making the World Series in 2018, losing a 7-5 semifinal affair to the eventual champs Penn State DuBois. Selma is the last Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball program to win a national title.
This season, Selma has been consistent with what they put together from day one… advancing runners into scoring position, good starting pitching, hitting, and playing errorless ball. Selma returns the entire group from the one game they knew was theirs to win the title last season.
Starters Ricky Butts and Marcus Hardy lead the Dawgs back to the World Series again this season with 6’4 infield transfer Tregra Williams from Central Baptist College in Arkansas. Butts batted .525 for the regular season. Williams put up some good numbers batting .441 with 24 runs batted in. Hardy also was impressive at the plate hitting .391 on the season with four home runs, driving in 30 runs. The Dawgs return pitching ace 6’6, flame-throwing Derrick Sylve (88-93 mph). Sylve, the grandson of Major League Baseball legend Willie Stargell, finished the regular season ranked 9th nationally in strikeouts with 57, went 6-3 on the year with a 3.41 earned run average.
What is driving the Bulldogs is batting, speed, pitching and fielding. Other key players to watch in the tournament include pitchers Dakota Holmes, Trey Clark and Kristian Martinez, catcher Brian Davison, infielder Jamez McGhee, outfielder Alexander Humprey, Boogie Cancel and infielder Rashon Horn.
Coach Holloway stated, “we are truly blessed to embark on another postseason journey here at Selma University. We are proud, but humbled at the opportunity to qualify for the Small College World Series for our second consecutive season. This trip is bittersweet because we were only allowed to bring a certain number of our players. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a coach. Telling those young men whose parents I promised to take care of, kids who chose Selma University because of the opportunity to compete for a World Series title, that they couldn’t make the trip with the team was heartbreaking. We will play this tournament for them.”
“Derrick Sylve will get the ball for game one. Seniors Ricky Butts, Marcus Hardy and Darryl Watkins will be key to our success in the tournament. We like our chances if we play our brand of baseball. Jamez McGhee, Devon Pedro, Tregra Williams have been vital to our success this year as well.”
They are hungry for a championship in 2019.