HBCU Top Ranked Weekend Outlook: March 27-29

DI/DII/DIII/NAIA/Baseball

 

By Michael Coker/Black College Nines

 

I do not gamble nor am I a gambler. But I’d have a hard time not putting a stake on No. 1 Alabama State University. Tops in Black College Nines (BCN) Historically Black College and University (HBCU) regular season baseball poll, No. 1 Alabama State verses No. 3 Jackson State University this weekend. I don’t think you could find two more complete teams in the country right now.

Not that No. 2 Alabama A&M series win last weekend is nice but doesn’t have a ton of luster right now. Alabama State has obviously opened some eyes. Head Coach Mervyl Melendez the Hornets won’t settle for less.

Jackson State hasn’t been tearing the cover off the ball as of late. Only 4 home runs this year coupled with a pitching rotation hasn’t really come together yet. They’ve won some ball games, but struggles. Only 117 strikeouts last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

Is JSU pitching good enough to keep them in the Top 10? It’s not as deep as say, Alabama State’s staff, but I think the Tigers have enough arms to contend. There are a few better pitching staffs in the top 10, but I don’t think there a liability. Pitching will always be at the center of a team’s identity, but the mix is to have both, pitching and hitting. One can’t do one without the other. There’s some real talent in both lineups. The question this weekend, which top ranked team, could make some noise.

For the small school division, No. 1 ranked Winston Salem State University an experienced team that’s living up to all expectations so far in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). These guys can hit and hit a ton. Sporting a .317 batting average and a .419 on base percentage, In 30 games, Winston-Salem has scored 199 runs. There Runs Batted In (RBIs) is jacked up right now (178). Because of all the home games they’ve played and won, but they haven’t beaten anybody really worth writing home about. Living on home cooking having played 22 of their first 30 games at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, NC, the teams they have played aren’t bad teams, but they’re not going to excite anybody either.

Their real test comes on the road against BCN No. 2 ranked Virginia State this weekend. This figures to be the biggest series of the year in the CIAA as these are clearly the two best teams. Even though Virginia State has had its own pitching issues of late, having lost 4 of their last 5 games, but start banking on the pitching staff and a few of their key offensive pieces to get them back on track. What they do this weekend will be big.

Black College Nines HBCU ranked Top 10 teams in action over the weekend:

 

Top 10 Division I

Friday March 27, 2015

No. 2 Alabama A&M vs. Troy 1:00 PM

No. 6 Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. New Orleans

Wofford vs. No. 7 North Carolina Central 4:00 PM

Saturday March 28, 2015

No. 1 Alabama State vs. No. 3 Jackson State 1:00 PM

No. 1 Alabama State vs. No. 3 Jackson State Game 2

No. 2 Alabama A&M vs. Troy 4:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman vs. No. 4 Savannah State 1:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman vs. No. 4 Savannah State Game 2

No. 6 Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. New Orleans

Wofford vs. No. 7 North Carolina Central 4:00 PM

No. 8 Norfolk State vs. Coppin State 1:00 PM

No. 8 Norfolk State vs. Coppin State Game 2

No. 9 Florida A&M vs. North Carolina A&T 1:00 PM

No. 9 Florida A&M vs. North Carolina A&T Game 2

Sunday March 29, 2015

No. 1 Alabama State vs. No. 3 Jackson State 1:00 PM

No. 2 Alabama A&M vs. Troy 1:00 PM

No. 6 Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. New Orleans

Wofford vs. No. 7 North Carolina Central 4:00 PM

No. 8 Norfolk State vs. Coppin State 1:00 PM

No. 9 Florida A&M vs. North Carolina A&T 1:00 PM

 

Top 10 Division II/III/NAIA

Friday March 27, 2015

No. 3 Wiley vs. Bacone 1:00 PM

No. 3 Wiley vs. Bacone Game 2

(5) Georgia Gwinnett College vs. No. 5 Talladega 2:00 PM

Voorhees College vs. No. 7 Benedict

Voorhees College vs. No. 7 Benedict

Saturday March 28, 2015

No. 2 Virginia State vs. No. 1Winston-Salem State 1:00 PM

No. 2 Virginia State vs. No. 1 Winston-Salem State 3:00 PM

No. 3 Wiley vs. Bacone 1:00 PM

No. 4 Edward Waters vs. (7) Northwood University 1:00 PM

No. 4 Edward Waters vs. (7) Northwood University Game 2

(5) Georgia Gwinnett College vs. No. 5 Talladega 2:30 PM

Albany State vs. No. 6 Paine

Albany State vs. No. 6 Paine Game 2

No. 7 Benedict vs. No. 10 Claflin

No. 7 Benedict vs. No. 10 Claflin

No. 9 Harris-Stowe State vs. (RV) William Woods University 1:00 PM

No. 9 Harris-Stowe State vs. (RV) William Woods University Game 2

Sunday March 29, 2015                                                

No. 2 Virginia State vs. No. 1Winston-Salem State 1:00 PM

Albany State vs. No. 6 Paine

No. 6 Benedict vs. No. 10 Claflin

No. 9 Harris-Stowe State vs. (RV) William Woods University 1:00 PM