B-CU Baseball Retools For Upcoming Season

The Wildcat baseball team poses for a photo after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last season. B-CU Athletics photo
The Wildcat baseball team poses for a photo after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last season. B-CU Athletics photo

After a successful run during the 2016-2017 season, B-CU's baseball team, now under the leadership of head coach Barrett Shaft, is getting ready to come back stronger than ever and with one goal-- finish what was started under the leadership of former head coach Jason Beverlin.

The Diamond 'Cats made history last season when for the first time they walked away with a win against the Gators from The University of Florida. In the end, the Gators won the series and advanced to the super regionals, while the Wildcats saw the end of what can be considered the program's best season so far-repeating as MEAC champions and posting the most regional victories in 36 years.

Looking ahead, one has to wonder what is next for B-CU baseball under the not-so-new leadership of Shaft, who has been part of the staff for six years. Shaft said he is "aware of the responsibility" of filling the shoes left by Beverlin and he is also excited to work hard and enjoy the game. His goals for the team are consistent with those of his predecessor- winning MEAC.

"That is always the goal...if we do things the way we are supposed to, I have no doubt that this team can accomplish that and so much more," he said.

Also, returning to the coaching ranks are Jason Bell and former Wildcat player Keith Zuniga as assistant coaches. The Diamond 'Cats don't seem to be in a position of rebuilding, but more of reassuring their dominance in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and at a national level as well.

Among the players that the team said goodbye to were Demetrius Sims and Austin Garcia, who saw significant play time while being part of the roster. Sims, a shortstop, was drafted by the Miami Marlins, a professional team.

Meanwhile, B-CU is counting on eight returning players to lead the way for the Wildcats. One of them is first baseman Danny Rodriguez, who was recognized as "Outstanding Player" at the MEAC tournament. Others include third baseman Jameel Edney, second baseman Nate Sterijevski, outfielders Josten Heron, Adonis Lao and Kyle Corbin, as well as pitchers Tyler Norris and Anthony Maldonado.

Time will tell whether the 'Cats will have another winning season. Shaft, however, is optimistic. "Great effort is always rewarded versus great talent," he said.

By Karen Romero