DII/CIAA/MEC/Baseball Collegiate Baseball Newspaper released their 2016 Preseason poll which has two Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball programs ranked for DII preseason honors. Winston Salem State which was the 21st ranked pre-season team and West Virginia State which receive votes as #47 of 87 possibly ranked teams for Division II 2016 preseason poll.
Last year, Winston Salem State posted a 42 win season the most in programs history finishing 42-15 overall received an NCAA DII berth in the Atlantic Regional finished third. The Rams are favored to repeat as Central Intercollegiate Athletic Associate (CIAA) conference champions returning three starters and seven members of its pitching staff.
Rams head baseball coach Kevin Ritsche has built a solid program 182-93 heading into his sixth year at the helm.
West Virginia State is looking to defend as Mountain East Conference Champion for a third time. Returning 10 seniors, four starting pitchers to the roster to build upon last season’s 35-16 record and NCAA tournament regional appearance with returning All-Conference closer, Josh Falbo and outfielder Trent Porter.
Hornets coach Sean Loyd took over the program in 2014 after serving 20 years as an assistant. In his first year guided WVSU winning the Mountain East Conference championship advanced to the NCAA DII tournament “for the first time since 2010”.
Winston Salem State and West Virginia State finished atop of Black College Nines (BCN) HBCU final baseball poll. WSSU was crown small school division national champions and WVS finished at #2 in last season’s HBCU final ranking.
No other schools are currently ranked in the small school division nationally in DIII or NAIA. Black College Nines is set to release its preseason HBCU Top 10 poll for both large and small school respective divisions early January 2016.