BCC is BCB’s New Number One Team

By Tony McClean
Updated: March 7, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Despite the fact that the 2008 black college baseball season is barely two weeks old, we already have a change atop the BlackCollegeBaseball.com Weekly Top 10 Poll.

Bethune-Cookman has now replaced Prairie View A&M as the No. 1 team in black college baseball. Both schools had eight first-place votes, however the Wildcats outpointed the Panthers in the overall poll by a mere six points (173-167).

The Wildcats’ week was highlighted by a 10-4 win over Southern University in the inaugural MLB Urban Invitational Tournament held at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.

It was the first ever meeting between these longtime HBCU baseball powers.

BCC starter Eric Thomas (2-0) was nearly flawless for the second consecutive week as he mowed down the Jaguars (0-4). The righthander was touched for just two hits on the day while allowing one earned run and striking out six batters in seven innings.

At the plate, the Wildcats were led by Jose Ortiz with a 2-for-4 day at the dish and scoring two runs. Along with Ortiz, Jose Lozada had a 1-for-2 day with two RBI and a score. Drew Clark and Justin Hoyte each hit their first career homeruns to round out the day.

Neal Jones was also a perfect 2-for-2 at the dish with two runs scored and a RBI to boot. The Wildcats would follow up their win in Cali by defeating Georgia Southern 10-7 in Daytona Beach.

BCC scored four runs in the third to take control of the game. Mark Brooks hit a 2-run single then Lozada lined a shot that hit off first base then rolled into right field to score two more runs. That gave BCU a 9-3 lead.

Freshman pitcher Roman Lancara (1-0) gave up six runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings, in his first collegiate start. Lozada had four hits, two runs scored and two RBI. The Wildcats began a three-game home series Friday against Illinois State.

The rest of the top five has Alcorn State third, Norfolk State at No. 4, and Savannah State in at five. The Braves, who received the other two first-place votes, made the biggest jump of the week going from ninth to third.

After one week of SWAC play, the 7-1 Braves sit in first place of the Eastern Division after sweeping Alabama A&M (14-4, 11-10, 16-10). The Braves look to maintain the current run production (9.6 rpg), that has scored nine runs or more in six of eight games.

They’ll host Alabama State this weekend, who took two of three from them last year in Natchez. Leading the offensive charge for the Braves is senior Brandon Pearce (.400, 1-HR, 9-RBI’s), who hit .375 with three double, a homer and seven RBI’s last season against Alabama State.

The rest of the top ten has Mississippi Valley State at six, Jackson State is seventh, Southern checks in at number eight, North Carolina A&T is ninth, and Grambling State debuts in the poll at No. 10.

GSU travels to Prairie View this weekend to battle the Panthers.

(Records through March 5)
School Rec Pts LW
1. Bethune-Cookman (8) 3-3 173 2
2. Prairie View A&M (8) 7-1 167 1
3. Alcorn St. (2) 7-1 141 9
4. Norfolk State 3-3 118 6
5. Savannah State 5-2 97 7
6. Miss. Valley State 5-2 82 8
7. Jackson State 3-6 //<![CDATA[ //]]> 73 5
8. Southern 0-4 58 3
9. North Carolina A&T 2-5 54 4
10. Grambling State 3-4 39 NR