Who’s Hot, Who’s Not In HBCU Baseball

Two weeks into the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball season, let’s take a look at which teams have started the 2016 season on a hot streak and which teams that have started slow.

After giving up 5 runs and scoring 24 the first weekend with two wins, Talladega College has continued its torrid pace, scoring 64 runs in its first 6 games and going 5-1 . With hot bats to start the season, the Tornadoes team looks destined for good things even in a rebuilding year. They have scheduled two mid-week games this week against Rust College and Concordia (Selma) and a weekend game against University of Mobile.

The Rams of Huston-Tillotson (3-1) opened the season picking up wins this past weekend in three of four games versus Bethany College as all three wins we’re decided by two runs. This is a team loaded with freshman and sophomores who play in the rugged Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Head coach Alvin Moore expects pitching to have an immediate impact as they did this previous weekend.

Benedict College(2-1), after dropping its 2016 season opening game on the road last weekend, bounced back to swept a doubleheader from St. Augustine’s University on Saturday afternoon. In its home opener, the Tigers scored eight runs on eight hits to take an 8-2 victory. Benedict scored two runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and take a 3-1 victory in the second game. As expected, Benedict was aggressive on the base paths stealing nine totals bases during the series. This week the Tigers travel to St. Augustine’s for a mid-week doubleheader and has a weekend series with Florida Memorial University.

Jarvis Christian College opened its 2016 season with a 7-2 road decision against Texas Wesleyan University, then split a doubleheader losing game one 10-1 and defeating Texas Wesleyan in game two, 9-3. The Bulldogs put on a hitting display as five players recorded multiple hits during the three game series. Jarvis Christian (2-1) has a four game series next weekend in its home opener, as the NAIA’s 21st ranked Missouri Baptist University visit Hawkins, Texas.

On the flip side of the coin, Black College Nines’ HBCU preseason No. 1 Winston Salem State University has started the season 1-3 with losses coming to NCAA Division II No. 18 ranked Millersville University this past weekend. The Rams ball club was the 21st ranked preseason team by Collegiate Baseball News. There may be some change ahead this weekend as Winston Salem State has a weekend series against a tough 6-1 Mars Hill University team.

Virginia State University suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Virginia-Wise in its 2016 home opener, losing both games by the scores of 9-6 and 5-3. Albany State University was shutout twice against ranked NCAA Division II Lee University. The road does not get any easier as they face two mid-week games against Valdosta State University and Columbus State University, then a three game weekend series against Georgia College.

Other teams hoping to have gotten off to a better start include Miles College, Wiley College and Concordia College (Selma). All with 1-3 records, these teams may face more of the same this week. Miles has games with Clark Atlanta University and Tougaloo College, while Wiley faces Harris-Stowe State University and University of Saint Frances twice over the weekend. Corcordia will take on Talladege, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta.