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First-year transfer Keith Zuniga earned Coach Beverlin's starting nod to take mound on opening day.
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@CookmanBaseball Opening Weekend: Cal State Northridge

Courtesy: BCUathletics.com           Release: 02/14/2014

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Wildcats
open the 2014 baseball campaign with
a Valentine’s Day matchup against Big
West foe, Cal state Northridge. The
Wildcats and Matadors will face off in
a three-game series spanning Feb.
14-16 at historic Jackie Robinson
Ballpark. First pitches are set for 6 p.m.
on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and
11 a.m. on Sunday.


Cal State Northridge (0-0) at Bethune-Cookman (0-0)
February 14, 2014 - 6 p.m.
February 15, 2014 - 1 p.m.
February 16, 2014 - 11 a.m.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark (4,800) - Daytona Beach, Fla.


B-CU Social Media Outlets:
Twitter: @CookmanBaseball | @BCUathletics
Facebook: BCUathletics
Instagram: @BCUathletics
YouTube: CatEye Network

Pitching Matchups

  Friday Saturday Sunday
Bethune-Cookman

RHP Keith Zuniga
2014 Tr.

RHP Montana Durapau
9-3, 2.89 ERA (2013)

RHP Scott Garner
6-5, 4.62 ERA (2013)

Cal State Northridge

LHP Jerry Keel
7-3, 2.59 ERA (2013)

RHP Brycen Rutherford
1-1, 3.05 ERA (2013)

RHP Jordan Johnson
0-1, 6.00 ERA (2013)

About the Matadors
Under the guidance of first-year Head Coach Greg Moore, who previously served as Associate Head Coach at San Francisco for the past three seasons, the Matadors look to jump out to another fast start, but traveling 2,500 miles across three time zones can have it lingering effects. The Wildcats have lived it before several times. The Matadors finished 31-26 in 2013, with their season ending on six consecutive losses.

The 2014 Matadors are expected to be paced at the plate by a trio of juniors, catcher Alexis Mercado, infielder Michael Livingston and outfielder Chester Pak. Mercado batted .275 last season, is top returner in hits (t-55), doubles (16) and RBI (26), and is the returning leader in putouts (295). Pak batted .272, tying Mercado with 55 hits, while scoring a team-high 36 runs. Pak also added 13 doubles and 18 RBI. Livingston batted .280 in 2013, tallying 45 hits, 32 runs and 11 RBI.

CSUN returns its top starting pitcher from a year ago, in Jerry Keel, who the Wildcats will face on Friday night. Keel tabbed a 7-3 record and 2.59 ERA last season, collecting 69 strikeouts in 93.2 innings pitched. The next pitcher in line last year was Brycen Rutherford, who will also face the Wildcats this weekend. Rutherford logged a 3.05 ERA and 1-1 record, pitching primarily in relief, with 24 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.

About the Wildcats
A stunning turn of events for many, the Wildcats did not leave the conference tournament with the hardware last season, and missed on the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight seasons. B-CU fell to Savannah State in a 1-0 10-inning tug-of-war in the MEAC finale. The Wildcats, however, completed an outstanding regular season with a 34-25 record, featuring a 17-6 record against teams from the state of Florida; a notoriously tough baseball state to play in.

Despite the loss of five multi-year starters, four seniors and one junior, the Wildcats have filled the gaps with ease under third-year Head Coach Jason Beverlin. Aided by an 18-man recruiting class, the Wildcats display much-needed depth that has been absent the past two seasons, in the bullpen in particular.

Pacing the Wildcats’ returners on offense, 2013 first team All-MEAC outfielder Josh Johnson returns for his senior campaign after batting a team-best .322 a year ago. Johnson led the team in hits (73) and doubles (14), and was among the leaders in runs scored (32) and stolen bases (15-20). He is joined by fellow senior outfielder Eros Modena, who batted .273 with 57 hits, including 13 doubles and three triples. Modena scored 38 runs and tied for the team lead in RBI (34), no doubt aided by his 18 stolen bases. Making a position switch in his senior campaign, senior first baseman Eric Sams will contribute in both facets of the game, batting .271 a year ago, batting in 27 runs and scoring a team-high 39 runs. Sams earned MEAC All-Tournament honors last season.

On the mound is a very experienced group of starters, led by 2013 first team All-MEAC pitcher Montana Durapau, who will take the mound on Saturday against CSUN. Durapau finished the season in 2013 with a 9-3 record and 2.89 ERA, striking out 78 batters in 109 innings. Four-year starter Scott Garner will take Sunday duties this weekend. Garner finished last season with a 6-5 record and 4.62 ERA, striking out 51 batters in 76 innings. As for Friday, junior transfer Keith Zuniga will take the hill. Zuniga notably pitched 21 consecutive scoreless innings for Pima CC in 2013 and allowed just one run in 29 innings, aiding him to a 1.80 ERA (5-5).

Live Coverage
Bethune-Cookman Athletics will provide live stats from Jackie Robinson Ballpark at this link. In addition, the Friday and Saturday games will be streamed live (for a subscription fee) on the CatEye Network. Fans can also keep up on game action with steady updates from Bethune-Cookman's social media outlets.

Staying Social 
For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feeds, @CookmanBaseball or @BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at BCUathletics.

The official hashtags for this game will be: #BeatNorthridge  and #HailWildcats.

To join the conversation on social media, be sure to tag your B-CU-related posts with the official hashtag of the 2014 season, #BuiltToWin, and don't forget about #HailWildcats.

-B-CUathletics.com-

       
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