Wildcats to play 30 home games this season.
The 2023 Bethune-Cookman Baseball schedule was unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 12, with the Wildcats set to play 30 home games across the upcoming campaign.
Under the direction of Jonathan Hernandez, set to embark upon his fifth year at the helm in Daytona Beach (and his fourth competitive season as head coach), the Wildcats will play a total of 56 regular season games, including 30 in Daytona Beach.
“Once again we’re able to provide our program with a tough non-conference schedule,” Wildcats head coach Jonathan Hernandez said. “We know it will pay dividends down the road as we continue to play, learn, and grow on the way to SWAC play.”
Bethune-Cookman opens the season with 11 of its first 12 games at home inside Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
The Wildcats begin the campaign with a three-game homestand at home to Lehigh on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. A midweek nonconference game at FIU (February 21) occurs before the Maroon and Gold play the next eight consecutive games at home.
The homestand begins with a four-game series against Purdue Fort Wayne (February 24-26), including a double-header on Saturday, Feb. 25. UCF visits Jackie Robinson Ballpark on February 28, before Longwood (March 3-5) serves as the final nonconference home series of the campaign.
Florida State serves as the first of two Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools BCU visits on the year, with the Cats traveling to Tallahassee, Florida to face the Seminoles for a midweek game on Tuesday, Mar. 7. After that, the Wildcats travel to Columbia, South Carolina for a weekend series at the University of South Carolina (March 10-12).
BCU rounds out the month of March at home – extending into the early stages of April, as the Cats take on Jacksonville (March 14), before beginning conference play. Once again in 2023, BCU will take part in the Eastern Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), with the 2021-22 athletic year marking the university’s inaugural season in the league.
“We’re looking forward to our second season in the SWAC,” Hernandez said. “With a year of experience behind us, we have a better idea of what to expect – this is a really good conference, we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
B-CU will open SWAC play looking for some revenge against an Alabama State squad that eliminated the Wildcats in the postseason a year ago. The Wildcats will host the Hornets from March 17-19 as part of 12-game homestand, their longest of the season.
Other key conference matchups at home for the Cats come against Mississippi Valley State (March 24-26) and in-state foe Florida A&M (March 31-April 2).
Alabama A&M (May 5-7) and Jackson State (May 18-20) will also visit Daytona Breach as opponents from the SWAC Eastern Division.
Also in SWAC play, BCU travels to Alabama A&M (April 6-8), Mississippi Valley State (April 14-16), Alabama State (April 21-23), Jackson State (April 28-30) and FAMU (May 12-14).
Volusia County opponent Stetson (March 21), South Florida (March 28) and FIU (May 3) round out the nonconference home slate for the Maroon and Gold.
BCU has several midweek nonconference games sprinkled between conference series, including a stop at Florida (April 4). The game against the Gators marks the second Southeastern Athletic Conference (SEC) opponent the Cats will face for the upcoming season.
The Cats also travel to in-state nonconference opponents South Florida (April 11), Miami (April 18), Jacksonville (May 2), Stetson (May 9), and UCF (May 16), respectively.
“Our schedule this season is as competitive as it gets,” Hernandez said. “We’ll be more than prepared for the SWAC Tournament in May, but first we have to take care of business on the weekends. Our guys have done a great job this fall building towards this season – we’re looking forward to getting started
This season’s SWAC Tournament was set to take place in Houston, Texas, but the site has since been moved to Atlanta, Georgia. The exact venue in Atlanta will be named at a later date by the league office.