Bethune Cookman DiamondCats Open 2019 Season At FGCU




Bethune Cookmen Sports information


FORT MYERS, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman Baseball begins the Jonathan Hernandez era this weekend traveling to Ft. Myers, Florida to face the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at Swanson Stadium. The three-game series begins Friday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 p.m.

Jonathan Hernandez, named the head coach of the Wildcats in August 2018, will be leaning on a mixture of new and old this weekend as he sets upon his Division I collegiate head coaching debut. The Wildcats return nine position players and six pitchers that saw action a season ago. This includes former relief pitcher Isaak Gutierrez now switching to the infield, as well as infielder Brandon Wilkes seeing time in the bullpen for the Maroon and Gold.

Records: Bethune-Cookman 0-0 (0-0 MEAC) | Florida Gulf Coast 0-0 (0-0 A-Sun)
Rankings: Bethune-Cookman is unranked. Florida Gulf Coast is unranked.
On The Web: • Twitter: @BCUDiamondCats@JDHerns30 

Live Stats: Live stats for each game will be available through
Game One Live Stats

Game Two Live Stats

Game Three Live Stats

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15 (6:30 p.m.)
RHP Anthony Maldonado (7-2, 2.81 ERA)
Florida Gulf Coast
RHP Nikolas Bitner (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

RHP Carlos Lequerica (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Florida Gulf Coast               
RHP Brenden Heiss (8-1, 2.24 ERA) – stats from John A. Logan College

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17 (1 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Krull (2-3, 6.65 ERA)
Florida Gulf Coast

Bethune-Cookman-Florida Gulf Coast Series History
• The last time these two teams met, FGCU took two out of three from the Wildcats in Daytona Beach a season ago.
• With BCU claiming the opening game of the series, the Eagles of FGCU bounced back to take the next two and grab the series victory.
• Bethune-Cookman senior Tyler Norris pitched six innings of one-run baseball, while Ivan Coutinho toed the rubber the final three innings to earn the save, spreading just one hit, a walk and five strikeouts.
• In Saturday’s game two contest, FGCU scored seven early runs in the opening inning to run away with the game.
• Meanwhile, FGCU struck for four (4) runs in the fourth inning to close the books on an 8-1 decision in game three’s rubber game.

Last Time Out
Bethune-Cookman would like to quickly erase its last outing, a 12-9 loss to North Carolina A&T in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title game hosted by BCU at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach back on May 20, 2018. Four late runs by North Carolina A&T in the eighth inning saw them erase a deficit for the third time in the game and collect the win, despite four hits from Wildcats left fielder Adonis Lao, as well as three hits each from designated hitter Michael Deeb and second baseman Jameel Edney.

Hernandez Has Proven Winning History
Jonathan Hernandez had spent the previous three seasons at ASA College in Miami – a junior college respected by many in the nation to produce some of the best Division I talent in South Florida. Throughout his time at ASA, Hernandez received several accolades that assisted in his growth. In 2016, Hernandez helped ASA to a Division 2 Region 8 Conference runner-up finish. That same season, he coached four student-athletes in being named All-Region 8 District Team members. Just a season later in 2017, ASA was crowned Division 2 Region 8 conference champions, while seven players were named to the All-Region 8 District Team. ASA achieved 20-plus wins in each of the last three seasons…all without a home field. The team played all games on the road, each season.

Wildcats Present on Preseason All-MEAC Teams
Bethune-Cookman starting pitcher junior right-hander Anthony Maldonado made his way onto the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason First Team, joined by fellow Wildcats first Danny Rodriguez (first base), Zach Spivey (outfield) and Nate Sterijevski(shortstop). For both Spivey and Sterijevski, the preseason accolades are the first of their kind for the senior Florida products, while Rodriguez is making third consecutive preseason team appearance.

Maldonado Tabbed MEAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Anthony Maldonado, the 2018 MEAC Pitcher of the Year, made 11 starts last season, tossing three complete games in compiling a record of 6-2 and a 2.81 ERA. The hard-throwing right-hander led the MEAC in opponents’ batting average (.211) and was second in the MEAC in runs allowed (24), ERA and third in earned runs allowed (20). His 74 strikeouts ranked sixth in the conference, and he gave up just 50 hits – tied for best in the MEAC, in 64.0 innings pitched.

Notes from the FGCU Eagles
• Four FGCU baseball players earned recognition on the 2019 Preseason All-ASUN Conference Team, the league announced Wednesday afternoon. The Eagles were also selected to finish fourth in the ASUN Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Leading the charge was sophomore shortstop Christian Proffitt, who was voted as the ASUN Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Junior catcher Alex Brait, junior third baseman Richie Garcia and junior designated hitter Kohl Gilmore were all named to the preseason team.
• Proffitt is the reigning ASUN Freshman of the Year and was named to the 2018 All-ASUN Freshmen Team. He started 50 games and boasted a .284 batting average last season with 25 RBIs and 20 runs scored in his debut campaign. Defensively, he led the ASUN in assists (62) and double plays turned (13) during league action. He also posted a .318 average, good for second on FGCU, while drawing 11 of his 24 walks competing against ASUN opponents.

Up Next for BCU
Bethune-Cookman will travel to Miami to square off against former head coach and BCU Athletics Hall of Fame coach Mervyl Melendez and the FIU Panthers on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

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