Courtesy: B-CU Athletics Communications
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Bethune-Cookman’s history-making run in the 2014 NCAA postseason ended on Sunday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, as host Miami (43-18) drove up a 10-0 win over the Wildcats (27-33) in their second meeting in the Coral Gables Regional.
“I told them how proud I was, especially of the fact we had a losing record going in to our conference tournament, and it would’ve been very easy to quit,” Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. “But our seniors really took things over and did a great job leading.”
“We swept through of conference tournament, and winning a game in our Regional is a big deal for our program as well. It’s definitely pushing the bar up. That’s the goal every year; to make the program better, which they did a great job of,” Beverlin added.
Miami left fielder Tyler Palmer put the Hurricanes on the board early, scoring from third on a throwing error by Matt Noble at second base in the first inning, reaching base on a one-out single through the left side.
Starter Gabriel Hernandez found challenges in halting the Miami hitters early, who broke from a Regional slump. In the second, consecutive singles from Johnny Ruiz and Willie Abreu paid off for the Hurricanes, as both crossed the plate on a pair of two-out RBI singles for Ryan Kennedy and Dale Carey.
Facing a 3-0 deficit, Michael Austin entered in relief and quieted the Miami offense through the next three frames to give the Wildcats an opportunity to get the bats going. Leaving one runner on base in the sixth, Austin yielded to senior Scott Garner, making his second appearance in the Regional against Miami.
The Hurricanes would score in the sixth, eighth and ninth frames, highlighted by a pair of home runs by designated hitter Zach Collins, who tallied five runs on the two shots to put the game out of reach for the Wildcats, extending the lead to 10-0.
Throwing two innings in his final appearance in the Maroon and Gold, Hernandez (1-4) took the loss, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He wraps his B-CU career with a 19-10 record in 57 games. Garner also concluded his final game for the Wildcats with a 20-15 record.
For the Hurricanes, Bryan Radziewski (8-2) earned the win, throwing his first complete game of the season, allowing three hits and striking out nine.
Matt Noble, Zach Olszewski and Bryant Munoz each registered hits for the Wildcats.
To reach Sunday’s elimination game, the Wildcats defeated the Columbia Lions, 6-5, earning the first Regional victory for the Bethune-Cookman program since 2002, reaching the NCAA postseason after winning B-CU’s 17th Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship.
“We just came together as a team, everyone started to trust each other and we saw the overall goal for the season and what to work for,” Garner said of the strong finish. “Once we got the goals defined, it was easier to come together and work together as a team.”