Fall Ball Report: Harris Stowe State Returning Talent and WIll Play Home Games in Renovated Famed Negro League Park

The Harris Stowe State University baseball program will have a lot to look forward to before the start of the 2021 HBCU Baseball season. The Hornets will play all of it’s home games at Stars Park, former home of the St. Louis Stars of the Negro National League which played at the location from 1922-31.

In a partnership with Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, Harris-Stowe State will be using the field for it’s collegiate games, and a possible American Midwest Conference (AMC) Conference tournament in the spring.

The field was recently renovated as the Stars Park Revitalization Project that will benefit HSSU Athletics and safeguard a very important part of St. Louis, the Negro League, and baseball history. The Hornets will use Stars Park for both baseball and softball programs. The 1.3 million cost to renovating the park for the construction on the field was part of a seven-figure investment by Cardinals Care and six-figure investment by Harris-Stowe State.

HSSU continues with its fund-raising efforts securing more than $1.1 million of it’s goal to raise the 1.3 million from charitable donations from private funds for the schools athletics department.

Historic Stars Park will seat 200 at the baseball field and 100 for the softball field, and new scoreboards. The renovated park will be formally dedicated mid-October 2020.

As for the team, Harris-Stowe has shut down fall baseball because of Covid-19. They will pick up the season in January. The focus will continue to be on the classroom which contributed 28 AMC Academic All-Conference award winners last season.

Harris-Stowe will return starting pitchers Dejuan Griffin, who led the Hornets in inning pitched this past season, Tyler Cox will return as a “Covid” senior as will Preston Burnett. Brian Myers returns out of the bullpen. Harris-Stowe has added Armando Sierra, Dennis Jordan and Jacob Gonzolaz to compete for innings in the spring.

The lineup will have 2020 small school HBCU Baseball Black College Nines All-Elite Player of The Year Matt Janocik returning to the middle of the order. He will be surrounded by 2nd team All-Elite outfielder Davie Pound, a 2018 NJCAA All-American. Starters Will Crooker, Antonio Dominguez and Brendan Claus will return for veteran bats for a deep lineup. The offense has added Turner McDonald and Alec Sierra who will be asked to replace Dede Cole and Tony Henricksen, both who contributed to a very productive offense. The Hornets are also counting on bounce back seasons from Will Menendez and Luke Lampros who both had very solid summer seasons in a very competitive Car Shield Collegiate Summer League.

According to head baseball coach CJ Bilbrey “On paper I really like our group this season. We have a lot of talent returning and have added some really solid guys to add on to our program.”

The Hornets are loaded with talent for the 2021 season.

1 comment for “Fall Ball Report: Harris Stowe State Returning Talent and WIll Play Home Games in Renovated Famed Negro League Park

  1. Hey Matthew,

    Your Mom sent me a copy of the write-up of you and your new team. I was unaware of your 2020 HBCU Nines All-Elite -college coach of the award. Wow!!!! what a title. I am very proud of you. You should be kicks up into the big league with that title without having another college season. When I see next time I’ll need to get your autograph to add to my special collection.

    I’ve always been proud for all you’ve accomplish You are the BEST!

    Papa

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