By Michael Coker, Courtesy of Black College Nines,
Bluefield State defeated Xavier University of Louisiana to rightfully claim HBCU Baseball inaugural Black College World Series. The path to the Black College World Series was anything but smooth. After fighting through a tough season stretch and playing in a much needed HBCU national baseball tournament, this marks Bluefield State first-ever national title.
Xavier entered as the tournament’s No. 1 seed and received a bye at the start of the tournament. But, Bluefield State received a different path. They had to fight through the first round.
After beating Edward Waters College in their opening game, Big Blue were matched up against a talented Xaiver team that many had tabbed as the favorite to win it all.
Things didn’t start off well for Xavier, who lost 4-1 in the opening game to Bluefield. But the team came back strong and defeated Savannah State 7-2 in the second game of the series having to fight it’s way out of the loser bracket. The Gold Rush won a hard fought game against Florida Memorial rallying for a late-inning 7-5 thriller.
This forced a tournament rematch in the championship game with Xavier.
Bluefield State was undefeated in the tournament. After eliminating Florida Memorial, they had the rematch with Xavier in the championship game.
Bluefield lost game one 16-2 which forced a winner take all second championship game.
Bluefield, after Xavier threw everything they had at them, won 7-2 to call themselves Black College World Series winners.
Tanner Brandon, one of the team’s senior players, rose to the occasion for the Big Blue throughout the series.
For Brandon, who was named tournament most valuable player, winning the school’s first baseball national championship was the culmination of countless hours of hard work by everyone involved with the program.