Alcorn State’s Cole named HBCU National Player of Year

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, April 1, 2020

LORMAN — Alcorn State’s Travaris Cole turned a pretty good start to the season into a national player of the year award.

Cole, a senior outfielder, was named the 2020 HBCU National Player of the Year on Wednesday by the web site Black College Nines.

Sophomore infielder Tristin Garcia earned a spot on the site’s All-America first team. Black College Nines is a site devoted to covering baseball at historically black colleges and universities.

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Cole started all 12 games for the Braves before the season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. He finished second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference with three home runs, and third in RBIs with six.

In 12 games, Cole tallied at least two hits four times. Cole led the Braves in hits, homers, RBIs, runs scored and slugging percentage. He finished with a .313 batting average.

Cole hit .326 and was the Braves’ team MVP in 2019.

Garcia, a second baseman, finished in the top 10 in the SWAC in batting average with a team-high .333 mark. He was the second-toughest hitter to strike out in the league with a 9.8 ratio per at-bat.

Garcia led Alcorn in multi-hit and multi-RBI outings with four each. He had a huge game against Ole Miss, when he registered four hits including a home run in a 9-8 extra-inning loss.

Other players on the Black College Nines All-America team included Jackson State shortstop Wesley Reyes on the first team. JSU infielders Jaylyn Williams and Chris Prentiss, and outfielder Equon Smith made the second team.

Prentiss, a former Vicksburg High star, hit .322 this season with 10 RBIs in 15 games. The senior second baseman also had eight stolen bases in 10 attempts.