NEW HAVEN, Ct. — BlackCollegeBaseball.com, a site where baseball enthusiasts can read about their favorite black college baseball programs, coaches, and players, released its 2006 Black College Elite team and awards earlier this week.
Candidates were taken from the nineteen Division-I programs which included the MEAC, SWAC, Chicago State of the Mid-Continent, and Savannah State University, an Independent program.
This year, Co-Coach of the Year Awards goes to Bethune-Cookman College head coach Mervyl Melendez. Melendez led Bethune-Cookman to its eighth MEAC title in ten years.
The Wildcats did not lose to a MEAC opponent all year. Prairie View A&M head coach Michael Robertson shares the award this year. Robertson led the Panthers to their first SWAC Championship in only his fourth year at the helm.
Player of the Year awards goes to junior shortstop Joaquin Rodriguez of Jackson State University. Rodriguez led the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a .457 batting average and was named SWAC Player of the Year.
Rodriguez also was in the running for College Sports Television Player of the Year and ranks third in the country for Division I batting averages.
Francisco Rodriguez finished the season at Bethune-Cookman with a 9-1 record and as BCB’s Pitcher of the Year. Some of his notable wins this season were against Oral Roberts, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh. Rodriguez was also a MEAC First Team All-Conference selection.
The site also recognized the men and women behind the scenes that usually receive no recognition, Sports Information Directors and their baseball contacts are the ones that get the information out.
Matt Michalec of Norfolk State University kept the press releases hot every game, won or lost. Under his leadership, NSU has maintained an updated athletic website that provided the most informative and current information on Norfolk State baseball information.
The Black College Baseball Elite Teams are comprised of athletes from the Independents, Mid-Continent, MEAC, and SWAC conferences.
Bethune-Cookman and Alcorn State landed 5 players on the squad, North Carolina A&T 4, Jackson State 3, Prairie View 3, Delaware State 2, Southern 2, Chicago State 1, Florida A&M 1, Mississippi Valley 1, Norfolk State 1, Savannah State 1, Texas Southern 1.
C, Bradley Hubbert, Alcorn State; 1B, Brandon Gravely, Delaware State; 2B, George Morbia, Norfolk State; SS, Joaquin Rodriguez, Jackson State; 3B, Charlie Gamble, North Carolina A&T; OF, Marcus Davis, Alcorn State; OF, Joe McIntyre, North Carolina A&T; OF, Shundell Russaw, Jackson State; SP, Issac Daniels, Texas Southern; SP, Francisco Rodriguez, Bethune-Cookman; SP, Wrandal Taylor, Prairie View A&M; SP, Richard Rodriguez, Bethune-Cookman; RP, Francisco Gomez, Bethune-Cookman; RP, Emary Frederick, Southern University.
C, Jorge Mico, Bethune-Cookman; 1B, Chris Stamps, Jackson State; 2B, Luke Grow, Chicago State; SS, Zach Penprase, Mississippi Valley; 3B, Wilford White, Prairie View A&M; OF, Calvin Lester, Prairie View A&M; OF, CJ Acker, Delaware State; OF-tied, Nabil Sagbini, Bethune-Cookman; OF-tied, Shawn Taylor, Alcorn State; OF-tied, Caleb Betschart, Alcorn State; SP, Michael Hauff, North Carolina A&T; SP, John Primus, North Carolina A&T; SP, Marcus Cortes, Savannah State; SP, Nick Snyder, Florida A&M; RP, Matthew Chatwin, Alcorn State; RP, Jeffrey McCollum, Southern University.