HBCU Large School Mid-Season Report

Black College Nines takes a look at all the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) “large school” division baseball programs as we summarize each team’s 2016 year-to-date mid-season performance.

Alabama A&M University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 6-20

The Bulldogs heading into the start of the season added a competitive schedule to build upon its team strength and help the ballclub gain experience after coming off back-to-back 20-plus win seasons and hoping to continue the trend possible winning 25-30 ballgames. The entire team is making a great effort but the team is struggling at the plate and the rotation is not living up to expectations… including number one starter Josh Burchell.

Alabama State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 16-10

After starting the season 0-4, the Hornets are now playing as one of the dominant teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and like a title contender for the fourth straight year. Pitching has propelled ASU into contention with experienced arms anchored by two-time SWAC Pitcher of the Year, Joseph Camacho and a wealth of stablemates including Hunter McIntosh and Tyler Howe. At the plate, JUCO transfer Carlos Ocasio has emerged and is ranked in NCAA Division I offensive statistical categories.

Alcorn State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 4-17

First-year head coach Bretton Richardson inherited last season’s roster intact. Offensively, Collin Carroll and Walter Rios are two bright spots. On the mound, starters need to improve.

University of Arkansas Pine at Bluff

2016 Mid-Season Record: 6-16

Now that the Golden Lions have gotten through a tough non-conference schedule (0-10) what awaits is competition from within the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). UAPB should make a serious conference run.

Bethune-Cookman University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 11-14

BCU faced one of the toughest HBCU non-conference schedules, with solid wins against the nation’s top Division I RPI baseball programs.  The Wildcats have talent on the mound to turn the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) into an arms race.  Plus, they have started to swing the bats well.

Coppin State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 4-17

The Eagles have been in a rebuilding mode for quite some time and have relied on pitching with four freshmen included in the 14 man staff. Lack of solid pitching talent, short on steady at-bats and defense have been shortcomings the early part of this season.

Delaware State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 4-18

Young pitching staff still in development. Getting men on base has been an overwhelming task in the early going this season

Florida A&M University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 15-8

The Rattlers are getting instant contributions from the entire pitching rotation, middle relievers and a plate presence from Alec Wong (.416), Brian Davis (.387), Dylan Dillard (.376) and Ben Ellzey (.368). Junior (JUCO) college transfer, Jacky Miles Jr., has been a welcome addition along with true freshmen outfielder, Willis McDaniel.

Grambling State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 10-13

The Tigers are starting to put the pieces together. Lately, they have become an explosive offensive ball club. This is a hungry team, starting to make some noise and this year won’t squander last season’s failed opportunity to play in the SWAC Championship game.

Jackson State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 12-10

The JSU Tigers have yet to play their best, but at 12-10, they will look to continue building with a combination of speed, athleticism and defense to continue their success. Pitching needs to come around if they expect to challenge Alabama State and win the East Division of the SWAC.

Mississippi Valley State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 4-17

Coming into the season, young starting pitching was expected to lead to victories. Lack of putting the ball in play has contributed to MVSU underperforming. Not winning close ball games like they did in the past and not having a sturdy mound presence has contributed to some losses. Still, the Delta Devils could surprise some SWAC conference teams.

North Carolina A&T University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 6-19

NCA&T is a young, inexperienced team. Plate consistency, getting men on base and scoring has been an issue. Pitching has given up a ton of runs. When the Aggies do swing the bats, they swing well. Six wins so far in 2016.

Norfolk State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 9-12

The Spartans are off to a slow start but figure to finish atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Northern Division. The rotation of left-handers Matt Outman and junior Devin Hemmerich will turn the conference into an arms race. Offensively, once NSU gets going, they have the makeup to win the conference outright.

North Carolina Central University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 12-13

NCCU is living up to preseason expectations. Surprising starters on the hill, Justice Sampson, Alex Dandridge and Jarmar Hinton have made an impact. As the season progresses, the Eagles will contend and should be at the top of the MEAC standings. Conrad Kovalcik’s seven home runs is currently second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

Prairie View A&M University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 6-16

Coming into the season, the Panthers first-year head baseball coach Auntwan Riggins hoped to have an impact by stabilizing pitching. The mound staff has made strides but have not maintained a consistency. Angel Avalos at the plate continues his offensive production, but depth is a concern.

Savannah State University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 7-18

Tough non-conference schedule. The Tigers have faced teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Sun, Southwestern Athletic, Big South, Northeast, Mid-American, Big East, Sun Belt, Big Ten, Southern and Atlantic Coast. Those early season games will aid Savannah State in its run towards a MEAC Southern Division title.

Southern University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 8-13

Young, inexperienced ball club, but don’t count the Jaguars out. Southern could be one hot streak away from being right in the thick of the SWAC conference race. Veteran leadership is coming from Black College Nines preseason All-American catcher Jose DeLa Torre. No starters appear ready to step into the No. 1 role.

Texas Southern University

2016 Mid-Season Record: 10-13

Texas Southern looks to repeat as Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champions in 2016. If they are to repeat, one of last season’s top base stealers, Ryan Lazo must improve on a .217 batting average. Traditionally, the Tigers finish strong in conference play. They are another team that is one winning streak away from sitting atop the conference.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

2016 Mid-Season Record: 5-17

UMES is struggling both at the plate and on the mound. The Hawks might find it hard to reach last season’s total of 14 conference wins.  Offensively, Jesse Valdez (.348) and Mike Escanilla (.325) are the only two regulars hitting over .300.

 

 

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