The Bethune-Cookman baseball team learned its place in the NCAA Regional Tournament on Monday as well as the other teams it may face during the post season regional play on June 2-5, 2017. The Wildcats earned a spot in the double-elimination regional round by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship.
Bethune Cookman will open play June 2nd against 2nd seed University of South Florida, in the Gainesville (FL) Regional at the University of Florida.
Bethune-Cookman (33-23 overall), returns for a second straight regional. Last season, the Cats lost to Florida and Georgia Tech in the Gainesville regional. It’s the fourteenth postseason appearance for Bethune since 2000, the fourth for coach Jason Beverlin since his hire in 2012.
Bethune Cookman, winning of late with pitching, has held its opponents to a mere 3.13 earned run average in its last six games. Relievers have shut the door on opposing batters. Alex Herrera 3-1, 5.14 earned run average, 30 Ks and Ivan Coutinho 2-2, 3.54 earned run average, 7 saves, 28.0 innings pitched and 27 strikeouts have been leading the relief efforts. Starters Tyler Norris 8-1, 3.58 earned run average in 75.1 innings pitched and 57 strikeout, Anthony Maldonado 8-3, 2.70 ERA, 81.0 innings pitched with 60 strikeouts and Tyler Krull 5-2, 4.17, 49.2 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts have led the Wildcats.
At the plate, red-hot first baseman Danny Rodriguez is hitting .343 including, including 17 doubles, 11 home runs with 35 runs scored and 45 runs batted in. He has at least one hit each game, including several multi-hit games. Jameel Edney, is hitting .330 with 21 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homers and 40 RBI. Infielder Demetrius Sims has a .327 batting average, 7 triples, 1 homerun and 23 RBIs. Adonis Lao is hitting .367 with 1 triple and 29 runs batted in, while Nate Sterijevski .has a 281 batting average with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR and 25 runs batted in.
Bethune Cookman is a different team than last year’s regional team that lost to Florida. The offense is a good reason for South Florida to worry. Even if they are behind in games, they will score runs and mount a come-back. B-CU is currently on an six-game winning streak tied for its second longest winning streak this season.
Coach Jason Beverlin Comments:
“Being a No. 3 seed is an historic event for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school and a huge honor. It is a tribute to the hard work every school in our league has put in to improve their programs. We are excited about going to Gainesville and the familiarity we have both with USF and Florida. And obviously we are looking forward to seeing a new team in the form of Marist as well. We are ready for the tournament, and like everyone else in the nation, we are trying to go in and win an NCAA Regional and try to advance to a Super Regional the following weekend and keep the season going.”
All of the regional scheduled games played by B-CU can be viewed on WatchESPN or the SECNetwork as each of the regional sites, four teams play a double-elimination tournament, with the winners advancing to the super regional round on June 9-12.
Friday’s game, South Florida vs. Bethune-Cookman is 1 p.m. on WatchESPN.
The Gainesville Regional winner will advance and play against the winner of the Winston-Salem Regional in a Super Regional three-game series. The Super Regional winners advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.