Saturday, June 17, 2017

WSSU stays committed to baseball program

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- The CIAA’s decision to drop baseball is something coach Kevin Ritsche of Winston-Salem State has been bracing for.

When Elizabeth City State dropped its program before the 2014 season, the conference had slipped below the NCAA minimum of six schools sponsoring baseball to qualify for an automatic berth into region play. Even though the CIAA had five baseball programs, the NCAA gave the conference a break over the next three seasons, with the conference champion still getting rewarded with an automatic berth into regional play.

The conference decided to drop the sport because there was no sign of another CIAA school adding baseball to compete with teams already at WSSU, Chowan, Saint Augustine’s, Virginia State and Lincoln (Pa.).

WSSU athletics director Tonia Walker said the school is committed to the sport.

“We will maintain baseball as an independent sport with hopes that the CIAA will increase membership with other schools who play baseball or if current schools add it,” Walker said.


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