Photo: Albany State Athletics

The field for the Black College World Series is set. Eight HBCU baseball Programs, four from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and four from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The format for the event is two divisions, one bracket of four NCAA Division II teams and one bracket of four NAIA teams, playing a double-elimination format, and winners of each division face off in a one-game playoff to determine a champion.

What to know: 

  • When: May 11 – May 14, 2022
  • Where: Riverwalk Stadium (home of the Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits) 200 Coosa Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104
  • Tickets: Can be purchased at Black College World Series Tickets.
  • Format: Two divisions (one division of four NCAA Division II teams/one division of four NAIA teams) with each division playing a double-elimination format and winners of each division face off in a one-game playoff to determine a champion.

Who is in the NAIA Bracket?

Edward Waters (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference)

Florida Memorial (Sun Conference)

Rust (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference)

Talladega (Southern State Athletic Conference)

How did they get here?

When the season started, Edward Waters was heading for another losing season. At one point, they were 5-13, and I wondered if they could win ten games. Then they made a late-season push. The run included upset wins over top rank Savannah State and Miles. What did it for the Tigers, head coach Reginal Johnson made fielding and lineup adjustments.

Florida Memorial started the season beating several national rank opponents. The Lions defeated Keiser, Warner, and Webber and became the surprised team in the Sun Conference. Then they had a dry spell of games where the defense made costly errors with an up and down pitching staff. Head coach Tito Burgos worked on the team’s defense led to a late-season winning streak and an upset win over the NAIA No. 8 rank St. Thomas. The Lions are a battle-tested team. Making second Black College World Series appearance (2021).

Rust Bearcats punched its ticket to the BCWS in Montgomery and put on a defensive clinic during the season led to wins. What stops head coach John Bates’s team from winning 25-plus ball games, inclement weather. Rainstorms prevent makeup dates which led to canceling games. The Bearcats have live bats at the plate. Making second Black College World Series appearance (2021).

Talladega plays a very competitive schedule in the HBCU small school. The Tornadoes schedule 20 plus games against top-rank teams in the NAIA Top 25. When they click on all cylinders at the plate, head coach Marco Dominguez’s team is hard to beat.

Who is in the NCAA DII Bracket?

Albany State (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

Bluefield State (DII Independent)

Miles (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

Kentucky State (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

How did they get here?

Albany State leads DII baseball in batting average and on-base percentage. There is no better team at getting players on base and putting the ball in play this season than the Golden Rams. Eleven players are hitting .330 or better. They are the second-best scoring team at 11.8 runs per game in the country.

Bluefield State earns the right to defend its national champion title from last year’s BCWS. Big Blues captured their first 20-win season in school history. Head coach Drew Bailey has also led his team to single-season record wins. Making second Black College World Series appearance (2021).

Miles is a streaky team when they play at their best. Head coach Ty Roberts Golden Bears will enter the BCWS with home-field advantage considering Birmingham is a two-hour drive to Montgomery. Miles is my world series favorite to win it all.

Kentucky State, when hitting and pitching are on. They are hard to beat. Pitching was one of the main storylines for the 2022 season. While that trend is likely to continue for this year’s tournament, head coach Rob Henry has an experienced roster. They are the team on the rise heading into the World Series.

Courtesy: Black College Nines 


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