B-CU Falls to USF in Gainesville Regional
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman was unable to get the hits Friday afternoon, as the No. 3 seed Wildcats fell to No. 2 seed USF, 9-1 in the first game of the NCAA Gainesville [Fla.] Regional at McKethan Stadium. The NCAA Regional is hosted by the University of Florida.
Designated hitter Austin Garcia and second baseman Nate Sterijevski were the catalysts for the offense of Bethune-Cookman (33-24), but the hits came too few and too far between for the Maroon and Gold.
On the other end, the University of South Florida (41-18) was able to get to the BCU bullpen early as the Bulls raced out to a quick and insurmountable lead.
USF chased Bethune-Cookman starting pitcher Anthony Maldonado after just an inning and a third worked – his shortest outing of the year. The West Palm Beach, Florida native was struck for four (4) runs on three hits and three walks on the afternoon.
With USF up 2-0 after the opening frame, leadoff hitter Duke Stunkel put a charge into one for a two-run homer that also scored teammate Cameron Montgomery from the bottom of the order. That allowed the designated home team USF a 4-0 lead after two innings played.
Senior left-hander Donté Lindsay would enter the game in the second inning for the Cats, replacing Maldonado on the bump.
The Bulls would score three more runs across the third and fourth innings, respectively, to claim a 7-0 lead heading into the fifth inning.
B-CU freshman reliever Isaak Gutierrez worked the first scoreless frame of the day for the Cats out of the bullpen in the fifth. However, it would be left fielder Chris Chatfield supplying the Bulls with their second home run of the day, this one a two-run shot to left that advanced their lead at 9-0.
B-CU sophomore right-hander Tyler Krull would enter the game to work the final 2.2 innings on the mound for the Wildcats. The West Palm Beach, Florida product allowed just four hits and fanned three against a single walk in his time on the bump.
It would be the top of the ninth inning before BCU would touch the runs column of the scoreboard.
Redshirt freshman catcher Chase DeBonis picked up his second home run of the year with a deep shot to left center off USF reliever Mark Savarese to produce the final 9-1 score line.
USF starter Phoenix Sanders collected the win to improve his record at 6-2 on the year. He worked eight innings for the Bulls, scattering five hits, adding two walks and a game-high seven strikeouts.
The loss went to Maldonado of Bethune-Cookman, dropping him at 8-4 for the season.
The Bethune-Cookman offense was sparked by Garcia and Sterijevski, respectfully, as each went 2-for-4 at the dish in the game. DeBonis supplied the RBI with his solo homer.
Bethune-Cookman returns to action Saturday, June 3, when the Wildcats face the loser of Friday night's contest between fourth-seeded Marist and top seed Florida. That game for the Cats will begin at noon back inside McKethan Stadium.