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Southern University Tabbed As No. 1 Team In BlackCollegeBaseball.com’s 2006 Preseason Poll
By Tony McClean
Updated: January 22, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — With another season set to begin shortly, it’s no surprise that the Jaguars of Southern appear to be the top team in black college baseball.
In fact, Southern (29-18 in 2005) is ranked number one in BlackCollegeBaseball.com’s 2006 Preseason Top Ten which was released this past Thursday.
The SWAC is prominently represented in BCB’s poll as SU is joined by five other schools in the poll. Bethune Cookman (22-28) of the MEAC is ranked second followed by Prairie View A&M (31-27), Texas Southern (22-25) fourth, and Savannah State (22-21).
Rounding out the top ten are defending MEAC champs North Carolina A&T (27-27) at number six, Alcorn State (22-18) in seventh, Jackson State (24-22) eighth, Coppin State (21-31) ninth, and Mississippi Valley State (19-30) at number 10.
A&T, who won its first MEAC crown since 1993, are being led by outfielder Jeremy Jones. The junior, who was the MEAC’s Player of the Year and BCB’s 2005 Player of the Year, has also been tabbed as a candidate for the 2006 Brook Wallace National Player of the Year Award.
Jones is one of 120 players across the country named to the initial watch list and has also been named to the 2006 preseason National College Baseball Writers Association of America (NCBWA) All-America Third Team.
Last year, the Jaguars won their eighth SWAC crown in the last 10 seasons under head coach Roger Cador. However, they’ll be starting the 2006 season with a bit of a handicap — especially on the mound.
According to the Advocate of Baton Rouge, sophomore righty Daniel Durocher (1-2, 6.17 ERA) and junior righty Cody Elliott (0-1, 6.00) are out for the season after elbow surgery as is junior lefty Nicholas McGhee (0.00 in 1.2 IP), after surgery with an arm injury.
Also, senior righty Emary Frederick (2-0, 6.14 in 14 app.) has an elbow injury and sophomore righty Chris Barrett (2-0, 3.15) has a shoulder injury. Neither had surgery and will be watched closely early on. Junior righty Matt Scott (1-1, 8.74) might be out a month and a half with a knee injury.
In fact, only three hurlers from last year are back this season. Junior right-hander Joshua Kirk (5-4, 5.51), the MVP of the SWAC tournament, and sophomore right-hander Jeffrey McCollum (1-2, two saves, 2.51) were huge factors. Sophomore right-hander Theo Ycoy (0-1, 6.35 in five app.) also returns.
Southern opens their season on February 10 at home against Southern Arkansas.
NOTE: For more information, log on to www.blackcollegebaseball.com.