Southern picked to win SWAC West in baseball

The Southern baseball team was picked to repeat as Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division champion Monday.

The Jaguars received 74 points, including seven first-place votes. Prairie View A&M was  second with 72 points and eight first-place votes, followed by Arkansas-Pine Bluff (57 points, five first-place votes), Texas Southern (55 points) and Grambling (32 points).

Though no Southern players were named first-team all-conference in voting by the league’s coaches and sports information directors, Jaguars outfielders Tyler Kirksey and Sean Washington made the second team. Kirksey, a junior from Greenville, Miss., batted .340 last season and Washington, a junior from Houston, batted .275.

Southern, which opens the season Friday against Grambling at Lee-Hines Field, received 74 points, including seven first-place votes. Prairie View A&M was  second with 72 points and eight first-place votes, followed by Arkansas-Pine Bluff (57 points, five first-place votes), Texas Southern (55 points) and Grambling (32 points).

Alabama State was picked to win the East, receiving 80 points, including eight first-place votes. Jackson State was next with 78 points (10 first-place votes), Alcorn State (58 points), Mississippi Valley State (39 points, two first-place votes) and Alabama A&M (35 points).

Jackson State’s Charles Tillery was selected Preseason Player of the Year, Alabama State’s T.J. Renda was Preseason Pitcher of the Year and Emmanuel Marrero was Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. 

Jackson State, the defending East Division and SWAC Tournament champion had the most all-conference selections with seven. ASU was second with six selections, followed by PVAMU (3), UAPB (2), SU (2) and GSU (2). TSU and AAMU each had one  selection.

The SWAC Baseball Championship will be held may 14-18 at LaGrave Field in Fort Worth, Texas, and will include the top four teams from each division.