Bethune Cookman is part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) challenge to get its member baseball programs ranked among the NCAA Division I elites in rating percentage index (RPI) and strength of schedule to better qualify when the regional tournaments are determined at the end of the regular season. In my opinion, this is huge for the MEAC and HBCU baseball.
Bethune Cookman is 4-3 and is coming off an overwhelming pitchers’ duel for three straight days as each game in the three-game series was won by low scoring shutouts. That helped Bethune’s opponent, Central Connecticut move into the No.1 ranking in the NCAA Division I baseball statistics for earned run average (ERA). But that also says a lot about the BCU baseball program.
The Cats pitching staff ranks 9th in the country in ERA. They are limiting offenses in hits per game and getting quality innings pitched per start. That is a good place to be in. There are only 8 pitching staffs in the country with a lower team ERA than Bethune.
In seven games thus far into the 2020 season, BCU starters and relievers, in 63.0 innings pitched, have given up 21 runs, allowed 11 earned runs with a 1.57 ERA.
The success for a pitching staff can be measured in multiple ways from the strikeout to walk ratio to more recent stats like walks and hits per inning pitched (WHIP). But the earned run average is still a classic determination of how pitchers have dominated on the mound.
Alec Mendez has contributed to the Cats success. In two appearances, (2-0), 13.0 innings on the hill, has only given up 6 hits which includes a two-hit 1-0 win over Central Connecticut State, and his previous outing a 11-2 win over Alabama A&M. Mendez allowed two runs and four hits.
The 2020 schedule has the Cats playing against good Division I teams with dates visiting Florida State April 1st, the University of Miami April 8th, and face the current nation’s No.1 team Florida Gators which will be the highest-ranked team BCU has ever played. All three teams are ranked in national polls.
The Cats are currently building one of the best seasons in program history behind their stellar pitching staff. Not only do they have one of the country’s lowest ERAs, but the staff has held opponents to eleven earned runs this season. Head coach Jonathan Hernandez and his staff have done a good job of scheduling teams with very good collegiate players, and it’s fun to play in those in front of their home crowd. They’re fun to watch but the challenge will come from a hostile environment on the road in conference or non conference action.
NCAA Statistical information Last updated February 24, 2020 – Through games February 23, 2020: