Alabama State Sports Information
Hornets Replace Five Position Players From A Season Ago
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama State, fresh off a divisional championship last season, was chosen to repeat as the East Division champion in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) on a vote by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, announced by the conference office Friday morning.
The Hornets earned 73 points (including nine first place votes) to finish four points ahead of Jackson State in second place with six first place votes. Alcorn State earned 40 points for third in the division, while Texas Southern – the two-time defending champion – was chosen to win the West Division with 72 points (including nine first place votes).
Alabama State tied for league honors with five selections on the two preseason teams with Jackson State and Grambling State, while UAPB had four selections. Texas Southern picked up three each, while Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State each had one selection.
Darrius Wright, an All-Conference selection last season, was one of two First Team selections this season for Alabama State. The senior right-handed pitcher finished 8-1 last season with a 2.36 earned run average – a category in which he led the nation for three weeks at the beginning of the season. He finished with 12 starts as the Friday starter for Alabama State, logging 72.1 innings and giving up just 38 runs – 19 earned. Wright won his first four starts of his career, and logged six-plus innings nine different times in 2018. He did not allow an earned run in five of starts, and finished ranked nationally in victories and earned run average.
Meanwhile, Eriq White – who missed all of last season – was named First Team as a third baseman entering the 2019 season. As a sophomore, White was a First Team Preseason honoree and hit .282 that season in 46 games. He recorded 40 hits in 142 official at-bats and scored 24 runs, while knocking in another 15. White recorded five doubles and hit one home run as a sophomore, a year after being named the 2016 SWAC Freshman of the Year and selected as a First Team All-Conference member.
A trio of Hornets were named to Preseason Second Team led by outfielder Noel Cheneau, who split his time in 2018 as an outfielder and at second base. The senior finished fifth on the team in hitting last year at .313 in 44 games (all starts), and recorded 55 hits. He also scored 32 runs and drove in another 26 while collecting 15 extra base hits (10 doubles, three triples and a pair of home runs). Cheneau slugged .438 and had an on-base percentage of .385, while finishing second on the team in stolen bases (13-of-19). He recorded multiple hits 14 times in 2018 and had a pair of four hit games, and drove in a career-high six runs against Alcorn State (4/8) and 10 in back-to-back games against Alcorn State and South Alabama (4/10).
Sophomore shortstop Cristopher DeGuzman earned a Second Team nod after a stellar freshman season in the field. The sophomore played all 52 games – starting 43 – and finished the season hitting .257. He scored 21 runs and drove in another 18, while collecting 37 hits – including three doubles. He finished the year with 22 walks and seven sacrifice hits, and was perfect in stolen bases (3-for-3). The sophomore also finished the year with a .930 fielding percentage, and recorded multiple hits 13 times.
Senior Terrell McCall rounded out the preseason selections, earning Second Team honors as a reliever – a position he switched to for the 2018 season. McCall finished last year with 19 appearances, and finished with a 2-2 record and four saves in 33.0 innings pitched in his first season out of the bullpen. He recorded a 4.64 earned run average and allowed 21 runs – 17 earned – while allowing opponents to hit just .237 last season. McCall walked just 14 and struck out 40 in 2018.
Alabama State opens the 2018 campaign in the Andre Dawson MLB Classic in New Orleans (La.) against UAPB in a non-conference tilt February 15. First pitch for the season opener is scheduled for