Five Questions to Start the 2022 HBCU Baseball Season

At Black College Nines, we took a look at a few things that will make HBCU baseball fun to watch this season. There are plenty storylines to watch, but here are a few that we find the most compelling.

Will Bluefield State end the season in Montgomery for a second consecutive year?

Bluefield State ended the season last year in Montgomery, Alabama as the inaugural Black College World Series champion. The Big Blue enjoyed a remarkable run and is seemingly reloading for the 2022 season with arms. Everyone in Bluefield, West Virginia has high expectations to win. But what makes Big Blue unique is the core values, energy, maintaining the culture of how the program is run, and doing the little things right.

They have returning “star power” from the 2021 Black College World Series championship team to help them get back to Montgomery. Returners from the 2022 championship team include Roman Moore, Barry Crawford, Taylor Tibbs, CJ Cooper, Daniel Rayfield, Roman Moore, Howie Spencer, and JR McRee.

Bluefield State is excited to get back on the field this spring and win another national title.

How Big Can Jackson State Chenar Brown Play?

Chenar Brown leads a Jackson State line up full of experience. He had a huge freshman season for the Tigers, putting up dazzling numbers. Jackson State’s first baseman hit .366 with eight home runs, 10 doubles, while driving home 49 runs batted in for a 34-9 Tiger squad.

Brown has transformed from a nice hitting, infielder to a potentially high draft pick. He has the power to drive balls over the fence and with Ty Hill atop the lineup, the Tiger’s should score plenty of runs once again in 2022.

Chenab Brown will have the opportunity to play even larger than last year. Jackson State returns a lineup full of experience. Besides Brown and Hill, Jatavious Melton, and Nikelle Galatas are also back. If there is any Tiger team that can top the last year’smark, it may be this one.

How Quickly Can Stanley Stubbs Turn Around Mississippi Valley State?

Mississippi Valley State baseball wasn’t a big SWAC conference presence in the last ten years. The baseball program was in much need of a turnaround. Before Stanley Stubbs hire, they had not won a ball game since the 2020 shortened season under former head coach Aaron Stevens, who spent seven seasons at Mississippi Valley State. Stevens was terminated at the conclusion of the 2021 season. His overall record in seven seasons was 43-241. Now Stubbs is looking to turn around the Valley baseball program.

Every coaching stop that Coach Stubbs has made he’s found success at after starting his coaching career at Jackson State and winning the SWAC championship in 1995. Stubbs previously coached at Savannah State while it was a Division I program and turned programs around at Paine College, Benedict College, Lemoyne Owens College, before leading Rust to the inaugural Black College World Series this past spring in Montgomery, Alabama.

This is a big challenge getting MVSU to compete in year one and some might say it is a bit unfair to Stubbs. The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is stacked with tough competition from top to bottom, but his experience to go out and bring in players that fit his mold will pay dividends.

The new-look Mississippi Valley State baseball program is one that consists of a handful of returnees from last year including pitcher Ethan Charles, Hunter Stallings, and Abraham Ortiz to name a few.

Coach Stubbs has also brought in a crop of young, talented transfers in the form of Darian Chapman, Dreyland Holmes, and Maurey Weaver, who are looking to make an immediate impact in the infield. One other transfer is catcher Sieas Elliot, who has shown great leadership abilities both on and off the field. Vocal leaders such as Elliott are key aspects in building a strong, cohesive unit that can put Mississippi Valley State on the map.

Stubbs has shown from his track record as a head coach that he can make his team fun to watch.

What Can Xavier of Louisiana’s Co Co Simoneaux Possibly Do Next?

Coco Simoneaux is becoming one of the best all-around HBCU baseball players in the nation for the Gold Rush. Simoneaux has been a stat sheet stuffer since his arrival in New Orleans. He had an impressive campaign, batting .266 with eight doubles, three home runs, team leading 32 runs batted in, and 24 stolen bases which held Xavier to a 27-11 record last season. When the lights shined the brightest, Simoneaux lights up.

The 5-foot-11 outfielder followed that up with a Second-Team Black College Nines HBCU baseball All-Elite list. He exploded in the Black College World Series, batting .350 with three doubles and four RBI. That’s a stout resumé for his first year at Xavier.

Can Juwan Fitch Elevate His Status As Xavier’s Ace?

Juwan Fitch made an immediate impact on the college baseball landscape in 2021 in his freshman debut. The transfer freshmen quickly made a name for himself in the rotation. The left-hander from Baton Rouge, La., a transfer from Baton Rouge Community College, was 7-0 with a 2.84 earned run average, in 50.2 innings while he recorded 37 strikeouts.

He continued to record outs during the Black College World Series last spring with 5 strikeouts in 7.0 innings on the hill en route to Black College Nines HBCU baseball small school Pitcher of the Year honors and Elite First Team selection during the 2021 season.

Fitch really showed his stuff in close games could boost him to the ace of the staff in 2022 and major league teams will be calling before his collegiate career ends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.