Alabama State Listed In NCBWA Collegiate Baseball Poll

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its 2016 Top 30 weekly poll and has recognized Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Alabama State University baseball team. The Hornets received votes for the second time in the NCBWA NCAA Division I weekly baseball poll.

This season, Alabama State has posted a 34-15 overall record and 24-0 in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play and is the only SWAC baseball team to go undefeated during the regular season in conference play. Its 34 wins is the second-highest win total in program history (37 in 2014). The Hornets ballclub is a favorite to win the SWAC tournament and receive a berth in the NCAA post-season regional tournament.

Offensively, most in the SWAC thought the 2016 season would be a rebuilding season for Alabama State. Then, came Carlos Ocasio’s live bat.  He has hit 13 home runs this season along with teammate Ray Hernandez, who has 12.  Both have more than 50 runs batted in, with Ocasio totaling 55 and Hernandez 50.

Since the start of April, the Hornets have won 18 of its last 21 ballgames, hitting .328 with 29 home runs and averaging just over 10 runs per game. During that same timeframe, the pitching staff’s ERA is 2.67, with three complete games and three shutouts. In conference play, the entire pitching rotation has a 1.47 ERA while limiting opponents’ hitters to a mere .204 batting average.

Head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez has built a solid program. Alabama State has won 25 straight league games dating to 2015 and improved to 95-25 in conference play in his five seasons at the helm.

Alabama State currently sits atop the Black College Nines (BCN) HBCU baseball poll and was crowned “large school” division national champions last season. Black College Nines is set to release its HBCU large and small school division national champions, this May 24th, 2016.


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