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Courtesy: Clay Bailey

2018 Baseball Preview: Prairie View A&M

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 02/15/2018
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2017 Record: 20-37, 11-13 SWAC (Third in West Division)

Key Returners: Avery Williams, Darrien Williams

Key Losses: Cody Den Beste

After a 2017 campaign in which Prairie View A&M advanced to the semifinal of the 2017 SWAC baseball tournament, head coach Auntwan Riggins will try to have the Panthers make another run in the postseason.

Returning for Riggins this season is first team preseason All-SWAC selection at SP, Darrien Williams.  Williams was a solid arm for the Panthers last season.  He led the team with a 4.29 ERA, and in strikeouts with 63.  He also was second on the team in innings pitched with 69.1, and second in wins with four.

Avery Williams, who earned preseason All-SWAC second team honors, will also be back for PVAM this season.  Williams was second on the team in batting average (.321), third in on base percentage (.390),  and fourth in RBIs with 21 for Prairie View in 2017.

Riggins will need to replace a major piece of his lineup from lasts season.  Cody Den Beste led the Panthers in nearly every offensive category in 2017, including; batting average (.364), on base percentage (.437), runs scored (37), hits (78) and RBIs with 36.  That is a large ask to have a player put up the similar numbers.  Riggins will likely need to try and get the same production by committee and having multiple bats step up to fill the void left by Den Beste’s departure.

It will be a large task, but if Prairie View can get offensive production and another solid season from ace Darrien Williams on the mound, the Panthers are poised to improve on its 2017 record and once again make a run in the 2017 SWAC baseball tournament.