2017 HBCU Baseball Predictions – Large School Conferences

Black College Nines looks and predicts the 2017 Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) “large school” teams within their conferences.

Using statistical information of returning players from last season, reviewing what team needs were filled with freshmen and other incoming players and with pitching being a main concern, Black College Nines presents its predictions for the HBCU large school conference and some ball players who can help their teams reach the top:

2017 Predicted Order of Finish
Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)

Northern Division

  1. Norfolk State 29-21
  2. Delaware State 13-37
  3. Coppin State 14-38
  4. University Maryland Eastern Shore 16-32

Southern Division

  1. Florida A&M 31-21
  2. North Carolina Central 25-30
  3. Bethune-Cookman 29-27
  4. Savannah State 12-40
  5. North Carolina A&T 13-41


Norfolk State

Last year’s team was really good, this year’s team, better. Experience and depth will help return to the MEAC conference championship. Enough said.

Delaware State

Last season’s team went 13-10 in the conference with a young team. Those returning players have matured and will make a name for themselves provided they develop a pitching staff.

Coppin State

The Eagles are poised to take a step forward this spring. They will be led by strong freshmen and JUCO transfers and first year impact player, RHP Joshua Hancock 6’6”. Returning experience senior infielder Bryant Miranda brings a power bat to the lineup.

University Maryland Eastern Shore

Very young team with some hard throwing young arms. Should surprise some teams within the division.


Florida A&M

FAMU had its most talented team in years last season. The Rattlers went 31-21, but they faltered down the stretch. Crop of incoming freshmen and transfers will help.

North Carolina Central

The keys for success this year will be for NCCU to gel quickly, get quality starts from both weekend and mid-week arms, and allow what should be a strong bullpen to win games.


The Wildcats are loaded with pitching. After that must step up hitting outside of MEAC Rookie of the Year Danny Rodriguez. Always a team to watch in the South.

Savannah State

Added more speed and power to the lineup, but will have a younger roster this spring with four freshmen and four transfers. Will need to find pieces for the lineup.

North Carolina A&T

The Aggies must find pitching to stop opponents from scoring. The hitting has an awesome lineup in the MEAC.

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The MEAC:

OF Carlos Ortiz (North Carolina Central University)
C Adan Ordonez (North Carolina A&T University)
P Jonathan Mauricio (Norfolk State University)
RP Alex Mauricio (Norfolk State University)
DH Brian Davis (Florida A&M University)
1B Danny Rodriguez (Bethune-Cookman University)
OF Austin Bentley (Delaware State University)
OF Willis McDaniel (Florida A&M University)
C Jacky Miles, Jr. (Florida A&M University)
P Devin Sweet (North Carolina Central University)
P Tyler Norris (Bethune Cookman University)
RP Michael Parmentier (Norfolk State University)
DH Conrad Kovalcik (North Carolina Central University)

2017 Predicted Order of Finish
Overall/conference win-loss records from 2016 indicated

Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

East Division

  1. Jackson State 34-25
  2. Alabama State 38-17
  3. Alcorn State 16-36
  4. Alabama A&M 13-44
  5. Mississippi Valley State 6-36

West Division         

  1. Grambling State 22-27
  2. Arkansas Pine Bluff 22-25
  3. Texas Southern 23-26
  4. Southern 14-32
  5. Prairie View A&M 10-32


Jackson State

The Tigers appear primed to finish atop of the division, top position players with more than 100 at-bats and several key newcomers in Wesley Reyes expect to have an immediate impact on offense.

Alabama State

Every key offensive contributor is back, returning 8 of 9 starters in the field. Tyler Howe is the only returning starting pitcher, but loaded with good arms.

Alcorn State

if pitching starts off well in my opinion, I think they have a chance to compete for the SWAC division crown.

Alabama A&M

Coach Hill thinks this could be his deepest team, especially on the mound. Returning LHP Brandon Marsonek can touch the 90s while freshman Caleb Gay will bring power stuff in the back end of the starting rotation.

Mississippi Valley State

Three freshmen will see a ton of playing time this spring. IF Paul Hamilton, C/RHP Aaron Barkley and LHP Zach Uecker will have an impact all year long. But will it be enough?


Grambling State

The Tigers will have to shuffle their weekend rotation because of having a very tough non-conference schedule against top NCAA DI RPI teams which will help them win the SWAC West.

Arkansas Pine Bluff

UAPB will have a stronger pitching staff than last year. A wealth of mound mates including top freshmen, OF Casey Higgins and RHP Jordan O’Queen.

Texas Southern

A lot of good freshmen and sophomore sticks in the lineup. Will make some noise.


Southern should also be deeper on the mound, returning all three weekend starters.

Prairie View A&M

Depth at all positions and pitching are main concerns against non-conference and SWAC opponents

Black College Nines Pre-Season Elites From The SWAC:

1B Jesus Santana (Jackson State University)
2B Eriq White (Alabama State University)
3B Daniel Barnett (Grambling State University)
SS Cornelius Copeland (Jackson State University)
OF Carlos Ocasio (Alabama State University)
OF Olajida Oloruntimilehin (Texas Southern University)
P Miguel Yrigoyen (Jackson State University)
P Tyler Howe (Alabama State University)
2B Wallace Rios (Alcorn State University)
3B Ray Hernandez (Alabama State University)
SS Troy Lewis (Southern University)
OF Yamil Pagan (Alabama State University)
P Issac O’Bear (Grambling State University)


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