By Michael Coker, Black College Nines
Bethune-Cookman University moved into the No. 1 ranking in our Black College Nines 2017 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) regular season baseball poll announced on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
The Wildcats 19-11 overall, 6-3 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), received the most first-place votes and total points in the “large school” division made up of NCAA Division I baseball programs. Bethune-Cookman, in the MEAC Southern Division also ranks among the top Rating Percentage Index (RPI) baseball programs. The RPI is a quantifier which rates the top NCAA Division I baseball programs based on wins and losses and strength of schedule. Bethune’s RPI currently stands at 36 out of the 299 DI teams. Right behind Bethune-Cookman dropping down to the No. 2 spot in the poll rankings is MEAC rival Florida A&M University.
Significant movement occurred throughout the rest of the poll. Jackson State University moved up to the No. 3 position. North Carolina Central University jumped one spot to No. 4, Alabama State University dropped two spots to No. 5, North Carolina A&T University remained at No. 6 while Norfolk State University climbed three spots to No. 7. Texas Southern University enters for the first time this season at No. 8, Grambling State University falls to No. 9 and closing out the top ten large school poll unranked Delaware State University at No. 10.
In the “small school” division, Winston-Salem State University leapfrogs from No. 9 in our previous poll and into the No. 1 ranking in this week’s Black College Nines Top 10 poll. The Rams, having won 15 of its last 16 games, are 20-12 overall and 10-0 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Winston-Salem State as a team is batting .308 and .368 in conference play.
Talladega College retains the No. 2 spot. There were major changes from the previous poll rankings. Benedict College moved up from No. 4 to No. 3, Harris-Stowe State University fell from the previous poll No. 1 position to No. 4, Edward Waters College slipped from No. 3 to No. 5, Jarvis Christian College climbed up two spots to No. 6 and Miles College moved up into the No. 7 spot. Two teams making their first appearance in Black College Nines’ HBCU baseball small school poll this season are Voorhees College (for the first time in program history) at No. 8 while Paine College unranked and Tuskegee University are tied rounding out the Top 10.
The crowning of Black College Nines National Champions will be announced on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 at 10 AM (EST) on the Black College Nines’ website.
The Voting Committee of Black College Nines determines the Top 10 rankings. Overall records do not include ties.
The two divisional polls are as follows…
Large School Division
|2||Florida A&M University||MEAC||16-12||1|
|3||Jackson State University||SWAC||22-11||4|
|4||North Carolina Central University||MEAC||15-14||5|
|5||Alabama State University||SWAC||14-15||3|
|6||North Carolina A&T University||MEAC||14-12||6|
|7||Norfolk State University||MEAC||11-13||10|
|8||Texas Southern University||SWAC||9-19||NR|
|9||Grambling State University||SWAC||9-16||8|
|10||Delaware State University||MEAC||8-14||NR|
Dropped from Top 10: Savannah State University; Alcorn State University
Small School Division
|1||Winston-Salem State University||CIAA||20-12||9|
|4||Harris-Stowe State University||AMC||22-13||1|
|5||Edward Waters College||GCAC||23-15||3|
|6||Jarvis Christian College||RRAC||22-18||8|
Dropped from Top 10: West Virginia State University; Virginia State University