The Bethune Cookman University Wildcat baseball team upset No. 5-ranked University of Florida 6-2 on Sunday night at UF’s Alfred A. McKethan Stadium, site of the NCAA Gainesville, (Florida) Regional. The win was the biggest upset in the NCAA Tournament of a national top seed.
Freshman starter Anthony Maldonado, who came in as a reliever, shut down the No. 2 ranked RPI team in the nation to pick up the win, and sophomore Nate Sterijevski drove in four runs in the contest, two coming on a double in the second inning to plate Bethune Cookman’s first runs of the game.
The win is considered one of the biggest, if not the biggest in program history and is the first time the Wildcats have ever beaten a No. 5 ranked team. Florida had manhandled B-CU going 31-0 against the Wildcats in all time match ups including defeating Bethune in last season Gainesville Regional 9-3. It also was the first time the Cats have beaten a Top-25 team since March 2014, when they beat No. 13 University of Miami.
Bethune never trailed after opening the scoring in the second inning and added another run for a two-run lead before Florida answered with two of its own in the bottom half of the second to tie the game. Sterijevski led the offense with four hits, four runs batted in and scored two runs. Adonis Lao, Danny Rodriguez and Kyle Corbin also added two hits each.
Bethune Cookman improved to 36-24 on the season. Florida starting pitcher Brady Singer (7-5) took the loss.
Senior Donte Lindsay started the game but lasted only 1.1 innings, allowed 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs and walk 2 batters before being replaced by TJ Densmore and Anthony Maldonado who both combine to pitch lights out against Florida. Densmore got credit for the win and Maldonado picked up the save.
Bethune-Cookman and Florida play again in the deciding winner take all Gainesville Regional Final at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN3. The winner moves on to the NCAA Super Regionals.