Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) and Association of Independent Institution (A.I.I) conference foes Edward Waters College and Talladega College will play games against top rank NAIA, NCCAA and HBCU Baseball opponents highlighting the 2019 baseball season opening weekend.
Edward Waters’ 2019 schedule features 25 games (9 home, 16 away) against 7 teams that earned a bid to the 2018 NAIA National Tournament or NCCAA World Series. The Tigers play 14 games versus top ranked NAIA powerhouses including a home and home two-game series against national champion Southeastern University.
Edward Waters opens its season on the road visiting NAIA No. 25 ranked Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, scheduled four-games 2 doubleheaders on January 25-26, then host a Bluefield College squad that received votes in NCCAA top ten poll. The Tiger’s home opener is a 4-game series on February 1-3, before hitting the road at No. 1 Southeastern on February 12th in a scheduled doubleheader.
EWC’s home field, historic J.P Smalls Memorial Stadium, which houses a small Negro league museum, is scheduled to host three game series against NCCAA No. 2 Warner University on February 22-23. Other home tough non-conference games include rival Florida Memorial, No. 3 ranked in Black College Nines(BCN) HBCU Baseball top ten poll, in a March 19th doubleheader and completes a home and home date verses No. 1 Southeastern on April 29th.
The Tigers will be tested by GCAC/A.I.I. conference foe, No. 4 Talladega, ranked in BCN HBCU Baseball top ten poll in a doubleheader on March 3rd. EWC has a home and home series with No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett College on March 29-31 then travels to Atlanta versus Georgia Gwinnett on April 5-6 and have a scheduled doubleheader hosting No. 1 Southeastern on April 24th.
“Our 2019 schedule is filled with quality opponents,” head coach Reginald Johnson said. “The combination of playing in one of the toughest conferences along with our quality non-conference schedule will prepare us for postseason play.” During his seven years at the helm of the program, Johnson has guided EWC to five straight 30 plus wins and reached a coaching milestone with his 200th career victory when EWC defeated Trinity Baptist College 11-6, April 27, 2018.
Talladega, year after year, plays one of HBCU small school’s toughest non conference schedules. 2019 features 33 games (15 home, 18 away) against nationally ranked NAIA Top 25 ranked teams including those ranked in HBCU Baseball Top Ten. Eight teams TC played in 2018 earned a bid in the NAIA National Tournament and they defeated two squads with 30-plus wins, six with 40 or more wins.
The Tornados open its season on the road visiting NCAA Division II Auburn University Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama, have a scheduled three-game series on February 1-2, then host No. 12 ranked Tennessee Wesleyan in a February 5th doubleheader season home opener. Talladega also has a single game with No. 20 ranked Reinhardt University on February 12th.
Talladega will play a string of road non-conference series’ at No. 17 Middle Georgia on Feb. 15-16, Point University on February 20, at No. 15 Bryan College on February 22, as well as a single game at No. 12 Tennessee Wesleyan on February 23 and against No. 4 Faulkner on February 26.
Talladega will continue its torrid schedule tilts at HBCU baseball conference foe No. 5 Edward Waters on March 3 before hosting Point University on March 5 and the University of Mobile on March 12. Then the Tornados face No. 4 Faulkner on March 26 and a first ever meeting with No. 3 Florida Memorial on April 12-13, before squaring is off in an A.I.I. conference test with a home series verses No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett on April 19-21.
Talladega’s roster consists of four freshmen, six sophomores, 16 juniors and five seniors. The Tornadoes are looking towards their third straight appearance in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament. Marcos Dominguez, age 27, is Talladega’s head coach and is quickly making a name for himself in just his third season.
Teams coached by Reginald Johnson and Marcos Dominguez have knocked off top ranked NAIA baseball programs during their tenures at Edward Waters College and Talladega College, respectively and are expecting to do so again this season too.