Alabama State Baseball Earns HBCU Preseason Number One Ranking

Alabama State University has recently been named HBCU baseball’s top ranked team in Black College Nines’ Large School PreseasonTop 10 Poll. 

Alabama State was also named No. 1 in preseason rankings released by D1 Baseball in its website preview of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). 

The Hornets ballclub, which finished the shortened 2020 season with a 14-4 record, is making its first appearance as Black College Nines’ preseason No.1 since 2015.

ASU opens its 2021 season in the Andrew Dawson MLB Classic February 19th versus the University of New Orleans. Alabama State’s home season-opener is February 26th hosting Eastern Michigan at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex in Montgomery, AL. 

The Hornets return its entire roster from last year’s squad including eight of nine position starters and all three weekend starting pitchers from the 2020 team. The Hornets finished the 2020 campaign ranked as HBCU Baseball National Champion for the third time in the last six years. The Hornets won back to back championships from 2015-2016. Alabama State’s bullpen, the vast majority returning in 2021, posted a 3.11 earned run average in 159.0 innings pitched during the shortened season. 

Five of the returners are Black College Nines’ Pre-Season Elites. RHP Jacknell Guzman is a first team selection, while 3B Trenton Jamison, UTL Jabronski Williams, RHP Austin King, and RHP Breon Pooler garnered spots on the second team. 

The Hornets, already with the most talented roster in the SWAC, got richer with the freshman class, which gives head coach Jose’ Vazquez another bumper crop of impact position players. Coach Vazquez also picked up a premier marquee arm from the JUCO ranks. Perfect Game recognized Alabama State as the top incoming freshman class in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. That class includes OF Abner Benitez, 1B/RHP Dale Francis, RHP Agnel Miranda and OF Kerrigan Edmonds. 

Alabama State’s 2021 baseball schedule features 24 home games.  The Hornets have a mid-week tilt at Samford on February 23rd prior to the three-game home series against Eastern Michigan. Alabama State hits the road for a non-conference contest against No. 30 Alabama on March 2nd.  The University of Alabama is ranked in the  National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Top 35 preseason poll. 

The Hornets then open a 13-game homestand with conference rival Jackson State on March 5th-7th, face another mid-week non conference contest with Samford on March 10th, Eastern Illinois on March 16th-17th, and Troy University on March 24th.

Then Alabama State faces conference foes Mississippi Valley State on March 19th-21st and Alcorn State on March 26th-28th.The Hornets continue the season with a mid-week game against soon to be SWAC member Florida A&M on March 30th before its first SWAC road trip to face Alabama A&M on April 1st-3rd.

The Hornets return home for mid-week games against North Alabama on April 6th and Jacksonville State on April 7th at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex before hitting the road visiting Jackson State April 9th-11th. 

The remaining regular season games include Florida A&M on April 13th, Grambling State on April 16th-18th, and a non-conference series with South Alabama on April 20th. Road trips include Mississippi Valley State on April 23-25th, North Alabama on April 27th, Alcorn State on May 1st-3rd, a three-game series against Alabama A&M on May 7th-9th and completes its regular season schedule against Troy University on May 11th and Jacksonville State on May 12th. The SWAC post-season tournament begins May 19th.

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