DALLAS, June 8, 2017—Fresh off its historic run through the Gainesville Regional, the Bethune-Cookman University baseball team has earned a national ranking, coming in at No. 30 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA) Top 30 poll that was updated on Tuesday.
This marks the first time Bethune-Cookman has been ranked in a NCBWA poll.
The Wildcats (35-26) advanced to the first NCAA regional final in program and conference history this past weekend, a feat which included wins over No. 3 national seed Florida (which is ranked No. 4 in the latest NCBWA poll) and South Florida (which is in the Others Receiving Votes category).
Prior to this season, B-CU had last won an NCAA regional game in 2014, and the Wildcats came into the 2017 NCAA Tournament with a 3-34 all-time mark in NCAA Tournament games. After five games in Gainesville this past weekend, Bethune-Cookman now has six NCAA Tournament victories.
Bethune-Cookman had already made history before the regional, earning the Gainesville Region’s No. 3 seed – the best such seed for the school and the conference since the NCAA Tournament went to its current format in 1999. This came after the Wildcats won their 19th MEAC tournament championship, earning the conference’s automatic bid for the second straight season.
The ranking is the latest accolade for the Wildcats; on Tuesday, freshman pitcher Anthony Maldonado was named a Collegiate Baseball News Freshman All-American. The Wildcats also boasted five First Team All-MEAC selections this season, while Danny Rodriguez and Jason Beverlin were named the MEAC Championship’s Outstanding Performer and Outstanding Coach, respectively.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport.