2023 HBCU Large School Division Baseball Preseason Overview

Alabama A&M University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Elliott Jones

2022 Record: 14-35 (.286)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: In the infield the Bulldogs return every starter from last year’s team except at first base where Blake Martin will be competing for the starting role. Tommy Easley (INF) expects to have another solid season, he was the leading hitter with a .330 Avg. Jared Tribett (INF/C) looks to have another solid campaign after leading the team with 10 home runs last season, look for him to take his game to the next level. Chevy Dorris (2B/OF) (JSU transfer) is competing for the leadoff spot and is looking pace the offense in that role. Freshman Christian Soto a highly recruited 3b/C from Florida had a productive fall and is expected to carry that over into the spring. In the outfield, all 3 starters and will depend on Jalen Parker (Shelton State) to bring a championship mentality to the outfield. Others that should see playing time Brycen Hammonds, Devin Tonkins, Mekhi Lloyd, Brandon Edwards. The key returners: Tommy Easley, Jared Tribett, Noah Whitted, Tyler Campbell, Evan Crenshaw, Jason Marono. Transfers: Anthony Mateo, Chevy Dorris, Christian Soto, Jalen Parker, Roman Sorrell. On the mound two of the weekend rotation starters return from last year Noah Whitted (RHP), Tyler Campbell (LHP). Evan Crenshaw (RHP), Jason Marono (RHP), Roman Sorrell (LHP) and Anthony Mateo (RHP) and a stable of arms should give us more depth than we have had in recent years.

Alabama State University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Jose’ Vazquez

2022 Record: 34-23 (.596)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No.1 (HBCU Baseball Large School National champions)

Team Preview: Alabama State had a productive fall. Corey King and Hunter May look to continue to be offensive leaders for the Hornets in 2023.  The Hornets have put together another challenging schedule that includes home and home games vs Troy, South Alabama, Georgia State and Jacksonville State. On the mound, the Hornets expect to be guided by LHP Osvaldo Mendez, RHP Kyler McIntosh and LHP Ricardo Rivera.  RHP Luis Rodriguez and LHP Omar Melendez showed composure and versatility to get some quality innings in different roles during the season. The Hornets are slated to play 26 home games at the Wheeler Watkins Complex in 2023.  Coach Vazquez feels that this group has the experience and talent to be competitive throughout the season.

Alcorn State University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Reginald Williams

2022 Record: 2-39 (.049)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The 2023 Alcorn State University Braves baseball team will be a young, but with a talented group of players sprinkled with some veteran upper classmen, it should steady the group. Pitching should be a bit more plentiful aided with a competent defense. Speed, some power, and aggressive baserunning should pace the offense.  A much-improved team is expected heading into the 2023 season lead by a seasoned coaching staff.

Bethune Cookman University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Jonathan Hernandez

2022 Record: 27-32 (.458)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 8

Team Preview: The Wildcats are excited to go out and compete this 2023 season. B-CU believes this ballclub has a chance to be special, but like everything we have to continuously put in the work, and they understand that, but they also have an experienced group filled with high character guys and can’t wait to get things rolling. The competition will heat up once B-CU returns for Spring practice to determine who will get the start on Sundays. The bullpen will be a strong one for the Wildcats. The staff of head coach Jonathan Hernandez will also count on several other pitchers to compete for quality innings throughout the 2023 season. The Wildcats returned six position players who started for B-CU last season and were able to bring in a few JUCO transfers and two transfers who were a part of Power 5 programs last season. Hylan Hall, previously at Washington State, has had a really good fall and will be able to hit in the middle of the order for B-CU and will also be able to pitch in relief. His fastball has been up to 94/95 this fall season.

Coppin State University

Conference: Northeast Conference (NEC)

Head Coach: Sherman Reed

2022 Record: 24-28 (.462)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 4

Team Preview: The entire team returns from the 2022 NCAA Regional team, except for our starting outfield which included Marcos Castillo, Wellington Balsley, and Matt Day. The entire pitching staff returns, after improving in every pitching category over prior season. The staff set a school record for strike outs with 429 last season, and now have eight arms with 90 plus fastballs. The staff was greatly enhanced by the addition of D-1 Gonzaga transfer LHP Liam McCallum. Freshman RHP Christian Pareja was spectacular this fall with a 2.45 ERA and OBA of .136 and will immediately contribute. Coppin returns six of their top eight hitters, including the MEAC’s top three hitters in Jordan Hamberg .347, Sebastien Sarabia .320, and Corey Miley .319. Also the entire starting infield returns with tournament MVP Brian Nicolas at 3B, MEAC Rookie of the Year Josh Hankins at SS, all-conference 1st Team Corey Miley at 2B, and all-conference 1st Team Sebastien Sarabia at 1B. Juco transfers Noah Murciano and Nate Burdette also have been added. “With a total of eight college transfers as part of our strong 2022 recruiting class, this is clearly the most talented group I’ve ever had in my stint at Coppin. The outfield will be our biggest challenge in trying to replace the strong senior leadership we lost to graduation” head coach Sherman Reed stated.

Delaware State University

Conference: Northeast Conference (NEC)

Head Coach: JP Blandin

2022 Record: 25-23 (.521)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 6

Team Preview: When you talk key returners you have to start with Trey Paige JR MIF was player of the year in the conference last year expecting him to contend for the same thing this year. DSU also bring back all conference selections Krew Bouldin will be the everyday 1st baseman again and be in the middle of the order. The Hornets also return Peter Correca who will still throw on Fridays this upcoming season three returners expect to have break out years starting with Evan Harris who will throw on the weekend again this year electric stuff and he’s become much more polished this fall, secondly Brady Daniels who was DSU DH last year will man that spot again this year dealt with some injuries last season but is now 100 percent and ready to go. Lastly Alec Rodriquez played every day last year in LF for as a true freshman he’s matured a ton with his approach at the plate and really is showing his power more consistently in the box this fall. Bullpen wise Ethan Edelson, CJ Loper , and Hiram Davis who will all have big roles throughout the spring. “Key Newcomers Well start with Chris Amparo coming off an All-Region Selection at Bergen CC in New jersey will man the hot corner at 3rd base for us this season legit Power bat that will look to replace Alan Alonso’s production from last year. Secondly Wilfredo Mendez from Chesapeake CC hit over 400 for them last season and has cemented himself as our guy every day in RF this season middle of the order type bat. Also, Kodai Yaoiti Transfer from San Mateo CC in California has been the shining star of the fall and will be our guy in CF this spring will hit lead off for us this spring. We also brought in a plethora of young dudes who will make an impact right away Evan Bouldin who was the Delaware State Player of the year will see considerable playing time on the infield for us, We also expect Nickolas Gnardellis (C) and Jack messamore (RHP)to make big impacts for us this upcoming spring. We will be very offensive again this season but still left to be seen if the new Arms will hold up throughout the spring.”

Florida A&M University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Jamey Shouppe

2022 Record: 29-30 (.492)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 2

Team Preview: FAMU Baseball is excited to be competing in the SWAC for the second season!  We hope to be improved in several areas, especially hitting. Last season we finished 8th in the conference in batting average with a couple of key injuries to front line players. We hope to improve on that in 2023 since we return 3 of our top 4 hitters and have added several key bats through the transfer portal.  We also have added a little more team speed and hope to steal a few more bases. Pitching will be the big question mark for us this season. We return our #1 pitcher, Hunter Viets, but lost a lot of key arms from a pitching staff that finished 3rd last season in the SWAC. Viets threw 90 innings last season and struck out 93, with an ERA of 2.98, and was named Second Team All-Conference.

Prairie View A&M University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Auntwan Riggins

2022 Record: 30-27 (.526)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 7

Team Preview: The 23 season Prairie View A&M baseball team returns several starters at key positions but lost two players to the transfer portal. As a result, the panthers brought in more pitching (7 pitchers) depth from Texas junior colleges. In all, this year team will feature 14 junior college transfers and one four-year transfer. Also, seven freshmen round out a fall roster that consist of 44 players for fall camp. In addition, 25 returnees will round out the fall roster for this semester. Due to the NCAA rules, the panthers can have a roster of 40 this upcoming season. In the infield, the panthers key players from last season: Ben Ybarra (3b), Zachary Trevino (SS), Blake Redman (2b), Alex Martinez (1b), Sebastian Coria (3b/1b) and Paul Castro(C). As the fall has materialized, we see some dynamic play from some junior college (Isaac Davila, Cameron Upchurch, and Marshall Jonas) and true freshman (Ahmar Donatto and Cameron Franklin) that has bolster the depth on this year team because some of the new players have made a case to vie for playing time and make it harder for Head Coach Auntwan Riggins. In the outfield, Jayden Williams is the only current outfielder that has played in a SWAC game last year. JUCO transfers and freshman have competed well this fall that have demonstrated strong promise for the outfield group. On the mound, the panthers have several juco transfers that have been dominate in some of the fall scrimmages which will make the pitching staff stronger than this past season. Some of the returnees like, Ty Tubbs, Victor Mendoza, Matt Krall and Michael Dews have displayed great stuff but expect several juco newcomers (Austin Bell, Eli Breeden, Cody Smith and Gentry Busch) to compete for starting rotational spots for this season.

North Carolina A&T State University

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)

Head Coach: Ben Hall

2022 Record: 15-38 (.283)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview:

This will be North Carolina A&T first year in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and will be the baseball programs 3rd conference in 3 years. It has been a unique road the Aggies have been down, but they are excited for the future. NCA&T have added several players to the team from the JUCO market, newcomers Luis Espinal 3B Miami Dade, Justin Poris RHP CVCC (was injured last year but a 90-91 arm), Ethan Snyder RHP Louisburg, Coley Kilpatrick RHP Brunswick CC, Trent Simmons RHP Florence Darlington (good numbers), Tre Williams 2B/RHP Florence Darlington (good numbers). Transfer Portal Johnathan Henry Albany St RHP (good numbers) and Luke Brown RHP Austin Peay. Expect top returner Xavier Meachem to be a draft arm this year FB has been up to 97 and usually sits around 95. Spin rate is exceptional on all his pitches and is receiving large amounts of pro interest already.

Southern University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Chris Crenshaw

2022 Record: 27-31 (.466)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 3

Team Preview: The 2023 Jaguars returns 5 of its everyday starters and 4 pitchers that got sufficient innings. We will have a bunch of new guys that will have to step in fill some big shoes left 3 seniors in the lineup and 1 starter who was our ace. Our new group of young men all bring something different to the table and will have many opportunities to show their abilities. On the mound we have a few new guys who will see time and should help us be a solid team. We will be a team that will have the ability win games a multitude of ways and we are looking forward to having another successful season.

Grambling State University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Davin Pierre

2022 Record: 26-31 (.456)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 10

Team Preview: Team Preview: Top end of the pitching rotation will be the strength with two pitchers in the conference on Friday and Saturday. Also, returning quality arms in the pen will be a strength. On the mound experience depth, the talent is there. At the plate with the additions of some transfers the Tigers should be able to produce runs and be more dynamic than last year. On paper Grambling is one of the most talented teams, just have to prove it in game.

Mississippi Valley State University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Milton Barney (1st Season)

2022 Record: 10-31 (.244)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The Mississippi Valley State University baseball team has been hard at it this fall under new Head Coach Milton Barney. The 2022-2023 team returns several starters at key positions and several hitters in a lineup that hit .275 as a team last year including junior third baseman Dreylin Holmes, who finished 6th in the conference in home runs last year with 12. In all, this year’s team will feature 10 junior college transfers. The infield has 3 returning starters from last year’s roster including Dreylin Holmes who was a 2nd Team All-SWAC performer, Chris Soeder, and Maury Weaver. In the outfield, competition has been pretty tough with the addition of freshmen and transfers added to the pack. On the mound, the Mississippi Valley State have several Juco transfers who have thrown well in some of the fall scrimmages which will bolster the pitching staff which had a lack of depth last season. Hunter Stallings has jumped ahead of the pack as leader of pitching staff along with junior Calvin McClendon. Key additions are Juco transfers Jared Adams and Azalius Lewis along with freshman Zach Sigmon who are being counted on to help bring new life to pitching staff.

Norfolk State University

Conference: Northeast Conference (NEC)

Head Coach: Keith Shumate

2022 Record: 15-32 (.319)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: “We are excited and looking forward to the challenge of competing this spring in the NEC. We are more than grateful to represent our university against tough programs, both the new and  traditional ones. Our 2023 squad is a hardworking, a good vibe kind of team. We have worked hard to develop pitching and strengthen our catching. Pitching should be our strength while hitters Dionte Brown, Raphy Rodriguez and Jacob Council return off solid seasons to give the Spartans an offensive foundation off which to build.” NSUs top returners include Jacob Council .346/.411/.497, Dionte Brown .314/371/456, and Raphy Rodriguez .309/.390/.430. Top newcomers to be counted on are Justin Journette, Cam Mazell, Liam Royster, and Donovan Whitfield.

Texas Southern University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Michael Richardson

2022 Record: 28-25 (.528)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 5

Team Preview: “Coming into this season, we knew there were vital positions to fill. As a coaching staff, we concluded that starting pitching, positional depth and consistency from positions in the middle of the field was a priority. From a player personnel standpoint, we decided to revamp the roster and place a larger emphasis on program competition, something that we lacked the past couple of seasons.  A strength of this season will certainly be our overall roster versatility. Several players have the ability to play multiple positions including infielders playing outfield if called upon. The pitching staff has length featuring four true starters at the forefront paired with a high-end bullpen. This group resembles the staff of several seasons ago that earned a top-50 ERA nationally. Offensively, in order to compensate a lineup with less speed than recent, a core of pure hitter and power players will lead the charge.   An area in which we can improve on is responding to adversity.”

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Conference: Northeast Conference (NEC)

Head Coach: Brian Hollamon

2022 Record: 17-38 (.309)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The 2023 Maryland Eastern Shore baseball program has some new faces that will help the Hawks attempt to be one of the top teams in the NEC conference. The goal for the season is to lean on our experience offensively and defense positions. The team will have some quality veterans that will help in the development of our youngsters. The Hawks will have solid starting pitchers with a couple relief pitchers who will help with stability on the hill. The Hawks will have a solid core of returning players with the hopes that the younger less inexperienced players will provide quality depth when their number is called. Top newcomers include Porter Braddy- pitcher from Kill Devil Hills NC, Jayden Dillard- pitcher from Salisbury MD, Nick Gatton- pitcher from Arnold MD, and Doyle McNew- catcher from Baltimore MD.

Jackson State University

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Omar Johnson

2022 Record: 29-27 (.518)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 9

Team Preview: No Report Filed

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Head Coach: Carlos James

2022 Record: 13-36 (.265)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: No Report Filed


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