A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
SWAC Announces Preseason Baseball Honors
<img height="96" alt="SWAC secondary" hspace="12" src="/artman2/uploads/1/swac.jpg" width="150" align="left" border="0" BODY BIRMINGHAM – The SWAC has announced its 2009 Baseball Preseason Honors, headlined by Prairie View A&M’s Myrio Richard voted Preseason Player of the Year, and Southern’s Jarrett Maloy voted Pitcher of the Year. Jackson State and Southern were predicted to repeat as Eastern and Western division champions, respectively.
All preseason honors and predicted order of finish were voted on by the league’s coaches and sports information departments.
Richard, a 6-foot-2 190-pound junior from Lake Charles, La., won 2008 SWAC Player of the Year honors after batting .370 and tying for the conference lead in home runs (10) and ranking second in SWAC in RBI (51).
Richard was seventh in the conference in slugging percentage (.618), sixth in hits (64), fourth in doubles (13) and total bases (107), third in runs scored (57) last season.
Maloy, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior from Tallahassee, FL, posted a 9-3 record with a 5.43 ERA (second in SWAC). His win total tied for second highest in the conference, and he caught batters looking at strike three 18 times (tied for fifth highest in the conference).
In addition to Richard and Maloy, there were 10 other players named to this year’s preseason all-conference team that earned 2008 postseason honors: Tony Gonzales and Jabari Graham (Alcorn State), Mychal Roby (Grambling State), LaDerek Camper, Cortez Cole and Jerome Tyes (Jackson State), Brandon Kendricks (Prairie View A&M), Romey Bracey and Michael Thomas (Southern), and Jerome McCollum (Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff).
Jackson State, which had a SWAC-high 37 wins last season, received 93 points (13 first-place votes) as they were tabbed to repeat as champions of the East. Alcorn State was picked to finish second, followed by Mississippi Valley State, Alabama State, and Alabama A&M.
In the West, Southern was picked to defend its division title, receiving 86 points (12 first-place votes). Prairie View A&M was predicted to finish second, followed by Grambling State, Texas Southern, and Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The 2009 SWAC Softball Tournament will be played May 20-24 in Baton Rouge, LA at Southern’s Lee-Hines Field.
THE MLB URBAN INVITATIONAL
Southern will be one of four schools competing this weekend in the MLB Urban Invitational in Compton, Ca. The annual MLB Urban Invitational spotlights Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their baseball programs in an effort to provide them with national exposure.
Along with Southern, Bethune-Cookman College will face off against the University of San Diego and San Diego State. The three-day event will be held at the MLB Urban Youth Academy.
The Jaguars were scheduled to take on the University of San Diego on Friday at 8 p.m. On Saturday, they will face San Diego State University at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, the Jaguars fi nish out the tournament against Bethune-Cookman College at 2:00 p.m.
The two games on Saturday can be seen live on the MLB Network, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.