Wednesday May 30, 2012GAINESVILLE REGIONAL: A look at the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
Updated: 4:19pm, May 30
Updated: 4:19pm, May 30
The No. 1-seed Gators open NCAA Tournament play Friday night against Bethune-Cookman at McKethan Stadium
The Wildcats have been here before, making their third trip in four years to the Gainesville Regional. B-CU visited UF twice during the regular season.
The winner advances to face the Georgia Tech-College of Charleston winner on Saturday night at 7.
To get you ready for the NCAA Tournament’s Gainesville Regional, we’ll offer a look at the teams coming in from out of town here on Carter’s Corner this week.
First, let’s take a look at the …
How they qualified: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions
Head coach: Jason Beverlin (1st season) … Beverlin (photo, right) spent seven games in the majors with Detroit and Cleveland during the 2002 season … He served two seasons as pitching coach at Tennessee before taking over the Wildcats.
Quote of note: “Any time you go to a Regional, our goal isn’t just to show up and then we’ve reached our goal. Our goal is to win the Regional and move on. With playing Florida in the first round, they’re somebody we’re obviously going to have to get through to reach our ultimate goal.” – Beverlin
Notable ex-player: OF Stanley Jefferson, who spent six seasons in the majors from 1986-91
NCAA Tournament record: 2-28
Players to watch: SS Brashad Johnson (.346, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 20 SB), OF David Lee (.316, 3, 47, MVP of MEAC Tournament), 1B Anthony Stokes (.273, 10, 35), RHP Rayan Gonzalez (9-1, 1.96 ERA, 87 1/3 IP, 74 H, 17 BB, 79 SO, MEAC Pitcher of Year), RHP Jordan Dailey (4-6, 3.41, 11 saves)
Player missing: Former Wildcats catcher Pete O’Brien, projected as a high draft pick, transferred to Miami for his final season. O’Brien led the Wildcats with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 2011
Need to know: Florida defeated the Wildcats in both regular-season meetings, 8-6 on Feb. 21 and 10-1 on April 25 to improve to 27-0 all-time against B-CU … In the 2009 Gainesville Regional the Wildcats had the Gators on the ropes until Teddy Foster’s walk-off single gave Florida an 8-7 win in the first round … B-CU’s biggest wins include two victories over USF, two over Florida Gulf Coast and one win over FIU … Gonzalez (pitching in photo to left) has not surrendered a home run in 87 1/3 IP … The rotation behind Gonzalez is solid with Gaby Hernandez (6-3, 2.92) and Montana Durapau (4-6, 3.41) … Stokes (10 HR) has hit half of the team’s home runs … Friday’s game is being streamed live on ESPN3.com