May 14, 2009

A recent trend has started to form among the teams that have earned the SWAC Baseball Championship.


From 1959-2003, three teams dominated the Conference baseball championship ledger. During those 45 seasons, only Grambling State, Jackson State and Southern had won or shared the conference title. In fact, from 1986-03, only Jackson State or Southern won the crown.


However in 2004, Texas Southern became the first school outside of the SWAC’s Baseball Big Three to win the baseball championship. Southern bounced back to win the title in 2005, but for the past three seasons the champion has resided in Texas.


Prairie View A&M won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. Last season, Cinderella showed up in Baton Rouge in the form of Texas Southern. The Tigers earned a berth in the SWAC Tournament in the final weekend of conference play, winning the final two games of a three-game series over Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff to claim the #4 seed in the Western Division.


Catching lightning in a bottle, TSU went undefeated in the SWAC Tournament, defeating Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State and J-State a second time to reach the title game against archrival Prairie View A&M. In the deciding game, Texas Southern rallied from an 11-6 deficit with a single run in the seventh and five runs in the eighth to take an improbable 12-11 championship game win, the 2008 Conference title and the NCAA Tournament bid that goes with it.


In 2009, Grambling State earned the final spot in the tournament, rallying with two runs in the ninth to force extra innings at Prairie View A&M. In the 11th, the G-Men scored eight times to win 17-9 and clinch its ticket to Baton Rouge.


For three consecutive years, the SWAC Baseball Champ has resided in Texas. In 2008, an unlikely champ emerged from the field of eight. What will this year’s tournament yield?


Stay tuned!