B-CU Baseball Not Done Yet
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Tyler Norris threw a complete game and Bethune-Cookman found its hitting on Saturday afternoon as the Wildcats defeated Marist, 4-2 in an elimination game of the NCAA Gainesville [Fla.] Regional at McKethan Stadium. For the Wildcats, the win was their third ever in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. For Head Coach Jason Beverlin, it was his second postseason NCAA win with the Wildcats – the first for the program since 2014 [vs. Columbia in Coral Gables, Fla.].
Bethune-Cookman junior right-hander Tyler Norris settled down quickly after a rocky top-half of the first inning, as Marist (32-23) got to the Coral Springs, Florida native for a run to start off the game.
Shortstop Nate Sterijevski's single through the left side in the bottom of the first gave BCU the lead – one in which the Wildcats would not relinquish, scoring Jameel Edney and Danny Rodriguez as the bases were loaded for the Wildcats.
That vaulted Bethune-Cookman (34-24) ahead, 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, junior third baseman Jameel Edney powered up for his fifth home run of the year, lifting a two-out solo shot clear the wall in left.
That allowed BCU the 3-1 lead after five innings complete.
The Wildcats allowed themselves some breathing room in the bottom of the seventh, stretching the lead at 4-1.
Adonis Lao reached out and smacked a run-scoring double down the line in left to plate Josten Heron with one out.
Marist brought a run back in the top of the eighth inning as shortstop Randy Tavares got to Norris with a one-out solo homer to left field brining Marist to within 4-2.
In the end, it was All-MEAC performer Norris settling down to collect the final two outs of the game, including his seventh strikeout of the day.
Norris collected the win to move to 9-1 on the year. He worked a complete nine inning for the Wildcats, becoming the first nine-inning complete-game performer since Alex Seibold versus North Carolina A&T (March 26, 2016). He allowed just the two runs on six hits, picking up seven strikeouts and walking a pair.
The loss went to Marist left-hander Charlie Jerla to drop him at 9-2 for the season. He worked 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking three and striking out four.
The offense for BCU was powered by six players with a hit each, including the homer from Edney, as well as the two-run scoring single from Sterijevski. Lao also supplied the RBI hit for the Maroon and Gold.
Bethune-Cookman now faces the loser of Saturday's evening contest between USF and No. 3 national seed Florida on Sunday at noon. The game was moved up to noon due to impending bad weather moving into the Gainesville area.