2018 Baseball Preview: Mississippi Valley State
2017 Record: 7-34, 6-18 SWAC (5th in East Division)
Key Returners: Aaron Barkle
Key Losses: Arrington Smith
Mississippi Valley State will need to be more consistent in 2018, if Aaron Stevens and the Delta Devils want to improve on its 5th place finish in the east division.
Stevens will need to replace a do it all player for MVSU last season in Arrington Smith. Smith was second on the team in batting average (.281), first in slugging percentage (.445), runs scored (23), hits (41), and was second with 18 RBIs.
Smith also contributed on the mound for the Delta Devils last season. Smith was second on the team with a 5.29 ERA, led the team with three wins, and was second in strikeouts with 45. Stevens will have his hands full trying to replace Smith, who was able to contribute in all areas of the game for MVSU, and Smith’s production will be very hard to replace.
Returning for Smith this season will be sophomore Aaron Barkle. Barkle was a very productive hitter for MVSU last season, and will hope to have similar numbers this season. He led the team in batting average (314), on base percentage (.412), was fourth in hits (27) and drove in 8 runs for the Delta Devils last season. Stevens will hope for a similar season from Barkle in 2018, to lead the Delta Devils offense and lead the MVSU lineup.
Stevens and the Delta Devils are looking to get more consistency this season, and to do that MVSU will need to not rely so much on one player. With Smith’s departure, the Delta Devils will look to other players to produce on the mound, and in the batting order to improve on its record and east division finish this season.