2023 HBCU Small School Division Baseball Preseason Overview

Black College Nines (BCN) presents the small school overviews for the 2023 Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) baseball season. As we outline reviewing what teams needs from returning players, the addition of JUCO transfers, and top incoming stout freshmen who can help their teams reach the top of the standings.

Small school HBCU baseball, at least one team will find the driver’s seat for their respective conference championship hunt looking to be in the field of eight for the Black College World Series scheduled for May 9-13, 2023, in Montgomery, Alabama, Riverwalk Stadium and play for a national championship.

The 2023 season opens with HBCU small schools vying for Black College Nines Top 10 ranking with the Week 1 first Poll Dates of March 7, 2023.

Let’s look at why HBCU baseball will be exciting to watch this season. Black College Nines presents its season opening overviews:

Albany State University  

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Scot Hemmings

2022 Record: 32-16 (.667)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 3

Team Preview: Albany State University is coming off a 32-16 record last year under head coach Scot Hemmings. The Albany State Golden Rams ended their season playing in the SIAC championship game, losing to Spring Hill College 8-7. The Albany State Golden Rams also participated in the Black College World Series in Montgomery, AL. The Rams are looking forward to the 2023 baseball season with a shot at winning the SIAC conference championship and returning to the NCAA regionals. The last time ASU Baseball played in the regionals was in 2018 in Lakeland, FL. The Rams will open up on Feb 8th at Columbus State University. The Rams are returning most of the hitters from a team that ranked 6th in the country in batting average last season. The Rams are also returning seven arms from last’s year staff. ASU Baseball was able to land a few transfer athletes together with one of their largest high school recruiting classes this fall.

Key Returners: OF Lavoisier Fisher, OF Zane Ross, INF Hill Corley, INF Nathan Lloyd, RHP Jeremiah Reddell, Chase Karn, Tyler Bullock, Elijah Dennis, John Luegering, Brady Davis

Key Newcomers: OF/RHP Luke Addison, RHP Chandler Walker, OF Andrew Leonard, transfers 2B Jonathan Logsdon, RHP/SS Landon Kiefer, Keith Taylor, Austin Roberts

Arkansas Baptist College 

Conference: Continental Athletic Conference (CAC)

Head Coach: Sebastian Stargell

2023 first season as a baseball program

Team Preview: No Report Filed

Benedict College

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Selwyn Young

2022 Record: 5-42 (.106)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: From worst to first is the slogan for this year’s team. This will be head coach Selwyn Young’s 34th year of coaching college baseball and 15th year at Benedict. The Tigers return 27 players and have added 11 new players. Kenyan Connor, Bobby Kelly and Trenton O’Connor, all redshirted last year should make an impact on the mound. Benedict will have good speed, power potential and players that will put the ball in play. Pitching and defense is much better this year. Should be a fun and a much better year. Working on an appeal for Bradon O’Connor, who set new stolen base record last season with 105 steals, so he can play his final year. Transfer players Justin Murray, William Martinez, Jayden Jones, Isaiah Canty and Jaime Taveras should make a big Impact on offense and defense. Freshman, Zack Washington, Tymon Holloman, Elijah Banks, Malcolm Bates, Kaden Hindman, Jaquon Tinch, have all showed promise for the future.

Key Returners: Jamel Mitchell, Fareed Mizelle, Jalen McDuffie, Taj Bates.

Key Newcomers: Justin Murray, William Martinez, Jayden Jones, Isaiah Canty and Jaime Taveras

Bluefield State College

Conference: NCAA DII (Independent)

Head Coach: Drew Bailey

2022 Record: 22-27 (.449)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 9

Team Preview: This year, Bluefield State added depth to the bull pen with the addition of five NCAA Division I transfers. Bluefield returns the majority of last year’s team with some experienced bullpen arms returning and added some promising freshmen and transfers as well. Look for several freshmen to compete for time in the pen and on the mound. On the mound, Big Blues should be much improved with depth in the pen and added starters. Offensively they should possess the ability to drive in runs and hit for power at times. Defensively, head coach Drew Bailey has added much needed depth in the middle infield and behind the plate.

Key Returners: Jordan Varela – Payne, Cole Cote, Ty Sizemore, Zack Powell, Jordan Livingston, Garrett Hladilek, Brayden Merrick, Aiden Hedgepeth

Key Newcomers: Riley Bost (Northern Colorado Transfer)

Claflin University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Scott Nestor (1st Season 2023)

2022 Record: 5-28 (.152)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The 2022 Claflin Panthers baseball team will enter the 2023 season with the goal of proving the doubters wrong. After finishing the 2022 season, the team will return to the diamond with a new look and a new head coach. The Panthers hired Scott Nestor to lead the program. Claflin had a very productive fall last semester and is looking forward to making strides forward with the Claflin baseball program. Returning senior and second team all-conference outfielder is Kobe Miller, who hit .379 last season with 18 stolen bases. Returnees middle infielders Joshua Cooper and Da Avion Sumpter each hit above .300 and play a solid defense. Senior catcher DeShawnte Carraway will be defensive leader behind the plate and provide some pop to the offense. On the pitching side of things, Coach Nestor stated “we are bringing back innings leader on the mound in Kyle Hawkins. Kyle threw 53 innings last season and had 2 wins. Two-way player, MacKenze Gay returns as well.” New additions include freshman infielder Jaylen Brown, outfield transfer from Norfolk State University Seven Roach, and grad student transfer from Columbia International University, catcher Michael Bailey. All will look to contribute in the 2023 campaign.

Key Returners: Outfielder Kobe Miller, Joshua Cooper, Da Avion Sumpter, DeShawnte Carraway

Key Newcomers: Freshman infielder Jaylen Brown, Seven Roach, Michael Bailey

Clark Atlanta University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Kentaus “KC” Carter

2022 Record: 18-30 (.375)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The Clark Atlanta University baseball team is looking to continue where they left off last season. Going into the last month of the conference season in last place and finishing the month 10-2. advancing to the conference playoffs and a seventh seed. The progress of the team was clear as they gained more experience which was a very critical part to their success. With the group of leadership from last year, it helped groom what’s next in line to finish what was started. Coach Carter’s group is young, hungry, and dedicated to winning ball games. The team was focused on improving their offense by allocating more attention on hitting. Coach Carter said that “hitting was very inconsistent in previous years but will change the focus this upcoming season by hitting every day, with a purpose.” There is a lot of promise from this program that it will continue to trend upwards in the coming years. Be on the lookout for the Clark Atlanta University Panthers!

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:

Edward Waters University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Reginal Johnson

2022 Record: 28-27 (.509)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 1 (Black College World Series National Champions)

Team Preview: After a historic finish to the 2022 spring season, where the Edward Waters University Tigers were crowned the 2022 World Series Champions, the Tigers returned this fall only losing 3 key pieces from the national title team. The losses included World Series MVP right fielder Keilin Washington, RHP Joseph Eischen and LHP Frank Grimaldi. This year’s team has strong leadership lead by senior shortstop Payton Shubert and junior catcher Anthony Roman. With having most of our team returning, the focus this fall has been primarily the execution in all aspects of the game. This fall we have addressed our weaknesses in the pitching staff with the addition of transfers Dywane Maduro and Carson Hurst. First-year pitchers, Sebatian Velez and Jeremyah Matinez will also look to provide needed depth. I feel confident about this year’s team. The atmosphere is different from last fall. The returners still have the taste of success ingrained into their heads and it has spread quickly amongst the new additions to the team. We are excited and ready for the challenges the SIAC presents.

Key Returners: SS Payton Shubert, SS Anthony Roman, C John Nobles, INF Daiton Pass, OF Daquarius Thompkins, OF, Isaiah Montes, RHP Alexander Davila, RHP William Valenti, RHP Cameron Chastain, LHP Austin James

Key Newcomers: INF/RHP Dywane Maduro, RHP Carson Hurst, INF/RHP Sebastian Velez, OF Jacob Rowe

Florida Memorial University

Conference: The SUN Conference (SUN)

Head Coach: Tino Burgos

2022 Record: 25-22 (.532)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 6

Team Preview: FMU baseball is looking forward to the 2023 baseball season with a great group of veteran guys that will continue to lead. The Lions added a few more pieces to the lineup that will make an impact. Veterans will continue to lead the defense as they will be pretty solid in that area. On the mound all three starters from last season will return along with some key bullpen guys will also return, those being RHP Samuel Briceno, RHP Jamal Johnson and RHP JJ Baez. Head coach Tito Burgos is hopeful that the pitching staff will show gains this spring after the work they have been put in this fall. “Overall, I feel FMU’s baseball program is going to have a great year. I believe we have a chance to be a top competitor, not only in HBCU baseball, but in the Sun Conference and all of NAIA.”

Key Returners: Jalen Young OF, Luis Ruiz INF, Ulises Rodriguez INF, Nathan Harris INF, RHP Max Charnin, RHP Juan Hernandez and RHP William Hiciano, RHP Samuel Briceno, RHP Jamal Johnson, RHP JJ Baez, Aubrey Yarbrough, Ricky Alvarez, LHP Mateo Ferguson, LHP Diego Coss

Key Newcomers: Levis Aguila CA, Albert Míreles OF, Genesis Nuñez INF, Ivan Zombrano UTL.

Harris Stowe State University

Conference: American Midwest Conference (AMC)

Head Coach: Pernell Roberts

2022 Record: 17-24 (.415)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Heading into this season, the Hornets coaching staff feels very confident in what the team can accomplish for the 2023 season. Head coach Pernell Roberts said, “This past fall went well. Although we lost a couple key pieces from last year’s squad, we most definitely gained some guys that will contribute right away. Everyone is bought in and willing to do whatever it takes for one another which is what counts. As the start of our spring practices approach, we’ll be looking to hit the ground running and get back in tune before February 10th. Stay tuned, this can be a special year for us.”

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:

Huston-Tillotson University

Conference: Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC)

Head Coach: Chase Almendarez

2022 Record: 14-32 (.304)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The Huston-Tillotson Rams are entering the 2023 season with 5 key returnees from the previous season. The Rams have added newcomers and look for them to be impactful players. Head Coach, Chase Almendarez is entering his second season at HT and is excited to see how the team competes this upcoming season. The Rams have not made a postseason appearance since 2009 and are looking to secure a spot in this season’s conference tournament and the Black College World Series.

Key Returners: Taylor Grimes, Derrick Johnson, Seve Medrano, Brian Gardner, Luke Vizcarra

Key Newcomers: Robbie Brue, Josh Wilk, Noah Alvarez, Steel Kupec, Jeremiah Molina

Jarvis Christian College

Conference: Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC)

Head Coach: Dion Holbrook (1st Season 2023)

2022 Record: 16-37 (.302)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: It’s looking like a very promising year for the Bulldogs, says first year head coach Dion Holbrook “We had a very productive fall this year. I see much growth from the team this year on and off the field. The team has improved a great amount during this fall season. We not only focused on improving our game but also worked highly on the mental aspect of the game and building our bodies as we hit the weight room very hard this off season. The team chemistry is now on another level as we also highly focused on team bonding and trusting each other through this journey together.” This fall the team focused on details, finding those small things to take their game to the next level and it will show once the team step on the field. “We are coming into this season with a humble, motivated and dedicated attitude. I’m excited for what’s to come and it’s going to be a great season for the JCU Bulldogs.”

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:

Kentucky State University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Rob Henry

2022 Record: 25-24 (.510)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 2

Team Preview: The spring 2023 Thorobreds will feature many new faces in the lineup and on the mound. Gone from last year’s 25-24 squad are 12 seniors who helped the Breds win the Tyson Foods Black College World Series Division II Bracket. The Breds do return some firepower from a lineup that averaged 8.5 runs per game last season. Those returners will be joined by a mix of incoming transfers and freshmen with other returners looking to contribute. The Breds pitching staff returns several important contributors from last year. The 2023 campaign shapes up to be another exciting one for the Thorobreds. According to Coach Henry, “this fall was important in terms of integrating new players with our returners and building on our team culture. We showed a lot of potential this fall, but one of the biggest keys to our success will be how quickly we can develop some new players in important roles on the field. It will be difficult to replace the leadership and experience last year’s senior class provided, but I believe we have the players who are ready to meet that challenge. The SIAC is even stronger this year with the addition of Edward Waters to go along with several strong and well-coached programs. We’ll need to be at our best every day to reach the goals we’ve set for ourselves this year.”

Key Returners: Collier Higgs, Antonio Chambers, Kelton Saylor, Daniel Moore, Jace Wilson, Solomon Reed, Jalen Anderson, Michael Pedraza, Dylan Compton, Brad Dossett, Brandon Love, Jacob Thomas, Parker White

Key Newcomers: Joe Esparza, Kevin Brown, 2B Jace Wilson, SS Tre Brown and true freshman Yawuum Acaad, Transfer Cedric Poellnitz, Daniel Moore, Freshmen Anthony Holt, Preston Jones, Gavyn Minyard redshirt freshman Brad Dossett, Treyvon Fletcher, AJ Jackson, Zion Lewis, Nick Price, Josh Snorton, C John Higdon, Isaiah Johnson, Isaiah Zepeda-Felix, Kendall Garland

Lane College

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Donny Crawford (1st Season at Lane)

2022 Record: 10-27 (.270)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Lane hired former Stillman head coach Donny Crawford after the conclusion of last season. Crawford was recently inducted into Stillman Hall of Fame. “We are very young but look they have a solid foundation with what young players we were able to recruit so late in June. I believe we will compete and learn and grow with each game. I will say that this, in all my 47 years I have had a group that really enjoys being around each other and work!! They had a really good fall buying into my system. I would like to see these guys do well. We should see!”

Lincoln University (PA)

Conference: East Coast Conference (ECC)

Head Coach: Anthony Pla

2022 Record: 5-35 (.125)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The Lincoln University Lions bring back 5 key starters to the 2023 season and a host of new players to the roster.  Returning a total of 21 players, leading the way will be Number 1 Pitcher Sophomore Gabriel Sanchez (Anthony, NM/Gadsden HS), Senior Outfielder Alex Jones (Bear, DE/Appoquinimink HS), Junior Shortstop Jefry Azcona (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central HS), Sophomore Catcher Sebastian Iguaran (Port Orange, FL/Spruce Creek HS), and Senior Catcher/DH DeAndre Bowens (Rock Hill, NY/Hudson Valley CC). A host of new players will have a chance to see significant playing time this year.  Freshman Utility Players Jaden and Jalen Greenidge (Richmond, VA/Monacan HS) will be used in many positions throughout the year.  Freshman Pitchers David Estevez (Philadelphia, PA/Olney), Jaden Randolph (Baltimore, MD/City College), and Pedro Santos (Trenton, NJ/Trenton) will be looked upon to add depth to the rotation and in the bullpen.  Coming off a tough season, the Lions look to compete for spot in the ECC playoffs.

Key Returners: Pitcher Gabriel Sanchez, Outfielder Alex Jones, Shortstop Jefry Azcona, Catcher Sebastian Iguaran, and Catcher/DH DeAndre Bowens

Key Newcomers: Freshman Pitchers David Estevez, Jaden Randolph, and Pedro Santos

Miles College

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Ty Roberts

2022 Record: 27-24 (.529)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No.7

Team Preview: In 2023, Miles is looking forward to a great season returning 3 everyday starters with serious power at the plate. Michael Archie II as a freshman last year hit 10 homeruns, Clifton Orr-senior OF from Margaret, AL hit 7 and SS Max Davenport hit 5 Home runs for the Golden Bears in 2022. The baseball program added JUCO transfers and 4-year transfers to help reload from the strong senior class from last year. Look for Miles to be a strong contender for the SIAC Championship.

Key Returners: OF Michael Archie II, OF Clifton Orr, SS Max Davenport

Morehouse University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Antonio Grissom

2022 Record: 14-25 (.359)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Morehouse College baseball team graduated 11 seniors from the 2022 team finished with a record of 11 wins -14 losses in the SIAC conference.  Morehouse is looking to build on a quarterfinal finish in the SIAC Conference championship from last year. Head coach Antonio Grissom is optimistic about the 2023 season. “Although we lost 11 seniors from last year, a lot of young guys got some critical playing time which hopefully will benefit our team this year as we will definitely rely on that experience to continue to build on the momentum from last year’s conference championship play.  We had a great fall and are very excited about our new incoming freshman class.”

Key Returners: C David Coleman, OF Daylun Powe-Salters, RHP Saivion Mohammed, LHP Casey Coates, RHP Jamie Lawrence, RHP Jaiden Proper

Key Newcomers:

Morris College

Conference: Continental Athletic Conference

Head Coach: Zay Paul (1st Season)

2022 Record: 3-21 (.125)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Morris Baseball is going to play hard and compete. I’m very excited to see where we stand. We had a very competitive fall and I liked what I got to see from each player. We are bringing back some veterans who will help build the foundation. As well as the addition of the newcomers, this will be the start of changing the culture.

Oakwood University

Conference: Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC)

Head Coach: Richard Hodnett (1st Season)

2023 first season as a baseball program

Team Preview: After many years of considering adding baseball for Oakwood University athletics, 2023 marks the first season as a baseball program. It also includes the hiring of the programs first head coach Richard Hodnett, He spoke about his team. “We’re incredibly excited to be starting a program at Oakwood.  We’ve brought a great group of guys together that has worked incredibly hard and are looking forward to taking the field.  We have a couple of talented freshmen that will be looking to be cornerstones of the program over the next few years.  Freshman Jeremy Matos, originally from the Dominican Republic has secured a spot as the starting shortstop with his range and an absolute cannon of an arm.  Matos will also see time on the mound.  He will be joined in the middle infield by slick fielding 2nd basemen Jayden Rolling, a transfer out of Atlanta, GA who brings experience to a young roster from Wingate University.  Jordan Jennings, a freshman from Greenville, MS will be patrolling center field.  Jennings showed tremendous leadership skills both on and off the field earned the trust of his coaches and teammates. He will lead the Ambassadors with the unusual distinction of being named a captain during his freshman campaign.  Jennings has sent lofty goals for himself and will use his speed coupled with superb defense to reach those goals.  Another player to watch is Senior DiMarcos Pereira out of Keene, TX.  Pereira brings experience and leadership lending a steady hand both in the infield and outfield. Overall expectations are measured being such a young program as we continue to build chemistry.  We are looking forward to our opening series, a double header at home against Xavier University, LA.”

Paine College

Conference: National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA)

Head Coach: Kerby Marshall

2022 Record: 19-16 (.543)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 9

Team preview: Paine College will return seven out of eight position players in 2023. Top returning all National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) regional players include shortstop Denny Daza, OF Dominique Page, and OF Jaylan Davis. Paine will be consistent throughout the lineup offensively. Pitching will be an area for improvement with the loss of top pitcher Michael Rounds. Paine will battle and be determined to compete and finish in the top half of the region.

Key Returners: Denny Daza, OF Dominique Page, and OF Jaylan Davis.

Philander Smith College

Conference: Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC)

Head Coach: Noah Suarez

2022 Record: 17-15 (.531)

2023 first season as a baseball program

Team Preview: No Report Filed

Rust College

Conference: Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC)

Head Coach: John Bates

2022 Record: 17-15 (.531)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 8

Team Preview: Rust College is preparing for the 2023 season. The baseball program has the opportunity to play for their 1st Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament (GCAC) crown with a veteran led team. Under 2nd year head coach John Bates, Rust College brought in a very good recruiting class with a mixture of returners and transfer players who can help Rust College make a 3rd appearance in the Black College World Series. Coach Bates has veteran leadership returning to solidify the infield with Jalin Thomas moving back to SS along with Victor Clay, Mark Hubbard Jr., Malik Berrien and Benedict transfer Craig Randolph to provide the veteran presence up the middle of the infield. Also, there will be veteran depth with Jalik Demar, Stone Teague and Khalil Robinson who is returning for his senior season anchoring the corners. The outfield will provide stability with Jesse Burton lll, Mississippi Delta CC transfer Shamaar Stapleton, and Cerritos (CA) transfer JaShaun Franks. Coach Bates has added freshmen OF/P Devin Tallington, C Olin Evans, RHP Matthew Davis, RHP William Baker to the roster. The mound will be led by last year’s second team All-Black College Nines Elites Pitcher Brytan Sampson and Brent Jackson.

Key Returners: Jalin Thomas, Victor Clay, Mark Hubbard Jr., Malik Berrien, Jalik Demar, Stone Teague and Khalil Robinson, Brytan Sampson, Brent Jackson.

Key Newcomers: Craig Randolph, Shamaar Stapleton, JaShaun Franks, Freshmen OF/P Devin Tallington, C Olin Evans, RHP Matthew Davis, RHP William Baker

Savannah State University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Carlton Hardy

2022 Record: 34-12 (.739)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No.4

Team Preview: Savannah State is excited about the upcoming season. They have a good mixture of returning players and newcomers. The starting pitching staff members are all returning and their top two bullpen arms are returning this upcoming season. Head coach Carlton Hardy stated, “I believe pitching will be our strong point this year. We also have 2-3 newcomers who will warrant quality innings this year.” The offense will need to replace some key guys, but the coaching staff are confident in the guys they will have replacing them. “We are a little more athletic than we were last year.”  The guys on this year roster have shown this fall that they will have the professional competitive at bats that is the culture of the program.

Key Returning Players: Phil Woullard, DeWayne Franklin, Tra’Vonte Williams, Matt Terrill

Key Newcomers:

Stillman College

Conference: Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC)

Head Coach: Terrance Whittle

2022 Record: 10-33 (.233)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: “The Stillman College Tigers baseball program will be looking to build off of the 2022 season this spring. The Tigers had a young core in 2022 that they look to build around with some key players being added to the lineup. Mostly in the infield and the pitching rotation is where the added depth resides. The Tigers only graduated four seniors last year and 95% of the team returned for this season which allows this young core to continue to develop together. The Tigers will look to successfully compete in the SSAC as well against HBCU competition. Three things should help the Tigers in the 2023 season, Experience, Position depth, and Pitching depth, with a bullpen.”

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:

Talladega College

Conference: Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC)

Head Coach: Marcos Dominguez

2022 Record: 18-29 (.383)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Talladega baseball will have 21 players returning from last year, like Miguel Oropeza, Jose Santiago, Rafael Diaz, Oliver Cruz, Ramses Ortega, and Isaac Guzman. Most of these players were freshmen last year and just two of them are juniors. With the experience that the Tornados have from last year, I think they are going to be in a good spot to compete and do a good job. According to head coach Marcos Dominguez “we have a transfer from D2  Allen Morel and bring five more players in at the break that are going to be able the help the team and complete right away.”

Key Returners: Miguel Oropeza, Jose Santiago, Rafael Diaz, Oliver Cruz, Ramses Ortega, and Isaac Guzman

Key Newcomers: NCAA DII Transfers Allen Morel

Tuskegee University

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Chadwick Hall (1st Season)

2022 Record: 12-26 (.316)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The Golden Tigers have very high expectations for this upcoming 2023 season. With upperclassman leadership to go alongside a very talented sophomore class, Tuskegee expects to perform at Tuskegee standards. The team as a whole has been gelling and understanding what Coach Hall is wanting from them on and off the field. As Hall likes to say… “they are accepting and enjoying the plan and process.” The team has been very enthusiastic about the upcoming season and ready to get after it. This spring, Hall begins his 1st season as the Golden Tigers head baseball coach and they will open the 2023 campaign against Rust College, Friday, Feb. 3rd, at 12 p.m., at Washington Field.

Key Returning Players:

Key Newcomers:

Virginia State University

Conference: NCAA Division II (Independent)

Head Coach: Merrill Morgan

2022 Record: 18-28 (.391)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: The Virginia State Trojans hope to ride last season’s finish into a successful 2023 Season. The Trojans ended the 2022 season winning an independent tourney. The Trojans return sophomore shortstop Tahraun Hammond (.369 Avg 48 hits, 3 HRs, 37 runs(, CF Ricky Jones (.364 Avg 48 hits, 34 RBIs) and C Dawsyn Hock (.347 Avg 33 hits, 23 RBIs). Newcomers IF Norman Jackson, and utility Joseph Hastings will be welcomed additions to add depth to the roster. RHP Robbie Hatcher and Tahraun Hammond will be looked at for stability in the pitching rotation. The Trojans still play an NCAA Division II schedule meaning that all opponents form a strong competitive schedule. The 2023 Trojans will face strong baseball programs as the have games vs Mount Olive, Barton, and a matchup vs national ranked Savannah State in the opening weekend.

Key Returners: Tahraun Hammond, Ricky Jones, C Dawsyn Hock, RHP Robbie Hatcher

Key Newcomers: Norman Jackson, Joseph Hastings

Voorhees College

Conference: Continental Athletic Conference

Head Coach: Norman O’Neal

2022 Record: 8-15 (.348)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Coach Cunningham and head coach Norman O’Neal are eagerly anticipating the upcoming season. Having taken over last January, two weeks prior to the start of last season, and now having an actual fall preceding the spring, O’Neal is looking forward to going to battle with his staff and team. “The guys worked hard on and off the field, especially this fall when I implemented a strength program. There are seventeen freshmen on our team, but they are surrounded by an outstanding group of veterans. Returning ace Jathan Smith faces a formidable challenge as he leads a group of young, hungry pitchers who, in my opinion, each bring something unique to our team. We will demonstrate our true identity offensively. I will just leave it at that.” Defensively, Voorhees added a few key players to go along with veterans; Mario Sumpter and Ar’Donnish Adside, to name a few. O’Neal stated “I believe that if we play our game, we will surprise a number of teams this season. Bats are hard to replace when players graduate, but with guys like Joseph Gaines and Aquilar James on the squad still, I don’t see that being an issue this year.” The baseball program at Voorhees has made great strides as an HBCU program. “I can’t take all the credit because having coach Cunningham on board certainly made my job easier. Beginning our season with a weekend series against Kentucky State on February 4th. Coach Henry’s squad is fundamentally sound; they do everything correctly. I believe a series victory is within reach if we limit our errors and capitalize on our opportunities.”

Key Returners: Jathan Smith, Joseph Gaines, Aquilar James

Key Newcomers: Mario Sumpter, Ar’Donnish Adside

Wilberforce University

Conference: Mid-South Conference (MSC)

Head Coach: Roosevelt Barnes

2023 first season as a baseball program

Team Preview: The Wilberforce Bulldog baseball program has been revived and begins play in the spring of 2023. The athletic department chose Roosevelt Barnes to lead the program which is off to a good start. According to Coach Barnes, “Wilberforce recently capped off a productive fall ball session. Sophomores, Marques Smith, Edison Galen and Lee May III showed well this fall at the plate.  Freshmen outfielder Keith Smith Jr showcased his defensive skills and will be a key factor in the Bulldogs offense this spring. The Bulldogs look to bring in 5-7 transfers in January to shore up its pitching arsenal and support up the middle.  While the Green and Gold look to compete in the Mid-South Conference, they are looking to make history by making an appearance in the Black College World Series in May of 2023.”

Wiley College

Conference: Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC)

Head Coach: Kendrick Biggs

2022 Record: 5-41 (.109)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: Wiley College begins its first season in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference after competing in the Red River Athletic Conference the previous 21 seasons. The Wildcats return nearly their entire roster from 2022, including five of eight starters in the field. Outfielder and designated hitter Jacob Perez ended last season on a 14-game hitting streak – finishing with a .336 batting average, 31 runs and 16 RBIs. Marquis Kuykendall took over as the starting rightfielder during conference play last season and hit .333 with 14 runs, 14 RBIs and shared the team lead in home runs with three. Third baseman Traylon Ansley hit .352 with 23 runs, 17 RBIs and a team-high three home runs. On the mound, Jalen Porter led the team with 60 strikeouts. Isaac Burciaga, who struck out 37 in 44 1/3 innings and Daniel Cox will look to earn spots in the starting rotation. The Wildcats return relievers Myles Washington, Dante Enrriquez and Eric Heater. Freshmen Luis Chapa, Luis Mares and Eddie Garza could see time in the starting lineup. Wiley College went 5-41-1 last season as it made its return to the diamond after opting out of the 2021 season. It played with 30 freshmen last season.

Key Returners: Jacob Perez, Marquis Kuykendall, Traylon Ansley, Jalen Porter, Isaac Burciaga, Daniel Cox, Myles Washington, Dante Enrriquez, Eric Heater

Key Newcomers: Freshmen Luis Chapa, Luis Mares, Eddie Garza

West Virginia State University

Conference: Mountain East Conference (MEC)

Head Coach: Sean Loyd

2022 Record: 25-20 (.556)

BCN 2021 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: No. 5

Team Preview: WVSU had a disappointing year in 2022. After a 9-3 start to the season, the Yellow Jackets basically played .500 ball the rest of the way.  This season will be a different looking team. With 22 new players in the program, Coach Sean Loyd will be looking to some new faces in key spots. The entire infield and catching group are new to WVSU. Western Michigan transfer Tyler Overaitis won the catching job in the fall and looks to be a huge threat with the bat. Another transfer, Kyle Waters (Chesapeake CC) was one of the top recruits and had a great fall. He should continue the tradition of excellent shortstop play at WVSU.  Junior outfielder Ryan Kay returns after having a breakout 2022 (.397 batting average).  Chase Norris (2nd Team All MEC) returns and looks to lead the pitching staff, Also returning is Nick Loftis. Colin Bryant and Foster Conis are both back as well. Conis and Bryant were 2 and 3 in MEC ERA last season when they both went down with injuries early in the conference season in March. The Yellow Jackets have only 2 seniors on this team but seem to have an influx of talent.  This should be an exciting team to watch in 2023.

Key Returners: Junior outfielder Ryan Kay, Chase Norris, Nick Loftis, Colin Bryant, Foster Conis

Key Newcomers: Western Michigan transfer Tyler Overaitis, Kyle Waters

Xavier University of Louisiana

Conference: Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC)

Head Coach: Adrian Holloway

2022 Record: 19-25 (.432)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: This year’s team is looking to be scrappy. Pitching is going to be strong and carry Xavier this season. The coaching staff is looking for big production from returning players and some young additions. Starting pitcher Jamal Allen will fill the number one spot in the rotation left by Red River Athletic Conference first-team selection and Minority Basball Prospects All-Star Blair Frederick. RRAC all-conference outfielder Courtland Posey is set to have another strong campaign as well and will be a key leader.

Key Returners: RHP Jamel Allen, Blair Frederick, Courtland Posey

Key Newcomers: Pitching coach Darrion Smith from NCAA Division I Georgetown University.


*LeMoyne-Owens College

Conference: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Head Coach: Johnny Rudd

2022 Record: 4-29 (.121)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: No Report Filed

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:

*Texas College

Conference: Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC)

Head Coach: Jarrail Jackson

2022 Record: 0-31 (.000)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: No Report Filed

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:

*Tougaloo College

Conference: GCAC

Head Coach: Earl Sanders

2022 Record: 10-33 (.233)

BCN 2022 HBCU Baseball Final Poll: Unranked

Team Preview: No Report Filed

Key Returners:

Key Newcomers:


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