USF will head to Gainesville for the second time in three years for the opening round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
The Bulls (41-17) are the #2 seed in the Gainesville region, and will take on #3 Bethune-Cookman in the first game on Friday. The winner and loser of that game will face winner and loser of the game between the #1 Florida Gators and the #4 Marist Red Foxes in the double-elimination format.
The Gators are the #3 overall seed nationally, and the winner of this weekend at Florida’s McKethan Stadium will face the winner of the Winston-Salem regional hosted by #1 Wake Forest in the Super Regional.
Bethune-Cookman was 33-23 on the season, sweeping all three games played in the MEAC Championship to earn an automatic berth into the tournament. They hit .291 on the season with 33 home runs, but allowed a team ERA of 4.55. Freshman righthander Anthony Maldonado will likely get the start for the Wildcats vs. USF’s Phoenix Sanders. Maldonado has a 2.78 ERA this season, and conceded two runs in six innings against Florida A&M in his last start.
The only regular season game between any teams in Gainesville was on May 9th when USF faced the Gators and won 15-10.