15 May

no free rides

Jackson State heads into the SWAC Tournament, which begins today in Fort Worth, Texas, with the best record in the league, both overall and in conference play. The Tigers are 30-20 and went 19-5 in the league to win the Eastern Division title. The Tigers had six players named either first- or second-team all-conference. The Tigers should be the favorites to win the tournament and claim an NCAA regional berth. Of course, in the SWAC, only the champion is likely to get an NCAA bid, so the pressure is that much greater. JSU was the best team in the league in 2012 and didn’t get out of the tournament. JSU opens against Texas Southern (20-27) in the eight-team, double-elimination affair. Alcorn State, No. 3 from the East, plays Arkansas-Pine Bluff today. The Braves went 15-39 this year, 1-29 in non-SWAC games. That’s the kind of thing that hurts the league’s reputation. P.S. JSU’s first-team All-SWAC picks were pitcher Andre Rodriguez, catcher Jose Cruz and DH Malcolm Tate. Outfielder Charles Tillery, who batted .353 with 24 steals, was the newcomer of the year and a second-team pick. … Bailey native and Meridian Community College product Darren Farmer of Grambling State was the hitter of the year after batting .361. Grambling didn’t make the tourney field.

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