Southern interim baseball coach Chris Crenshaw

The HBCU World Series previously scheduled for this weekend has been canceled after Southern's opponent, Norfolk State, pulled out because of COVID-19 concerns, co-sponsor BCSG 360 announced Thursday.

“Though we were eagerly anticipating hosting this historic event in Jackson, Norfolk State University opted not to participate based on the risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” BCSG 360, which co-sponsored with Black College Nine, said in a release.

The Jaguars, who won the SWAC tournament title Sunday, were scheduled to play MEAC winner Norfolk State in the inaugural event beginning Friday in a best-of-three series at the Hank Aaron Sports Academy in Jackson, Mississippi.

“It would have been nice, but we can always scrimmage each other and get the same thing, put some different stuff on the line to make them competitive,” said Crenshaw, whose team earned an NCAA tournament bid with a stunning 7-6 upset of Jackson State in the SWAC tournament finals. “Norfolk State didn’t want to take the risk.”

Southern coach Chris Crenshaw said the Jaguars were planning a watch party for the announcement of the NCAA tournament field on Monday. Possible destinations for Southern (20-28) include Starkville, Mississippi, and Austin, Texas, and possibly Ruston if Louisiana Tech wins the Conference USA tournament this weekend.