TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Rattlers (1-1) dropped a tightly played ball game to Wofford (1-1) by a score of 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at Moore-Kittles Field. Wofford starter Spencer Kulman (1-0) scattered 7 hits and 2 runs across 6 innings to earn Wofford’s first victory of the season.
FAMU was led at the plate by junior Aubrey McCarty and senior Ben Ellzey. McCarty was 3-4 on the day with a triple and an RBI, while Ellzey was 2-4 with a run scored. With 2 hits today, Ellzey is on a 23-game hitting streak continuing from the 2016 season.
Sophomores Willis McDaniel and Kaycee Reese also swung the bat well, both collecting 2 hits.
Once again the Terriers jumped out to an early lead, scoring one run in the top of the first inning. Max McDougald struck out swinging, but reached first base on a wild pitch. After a single by Brett Hash and a walk by Mack Nathanson, Wofford had the bases loaded with one out. Cody Miller hit a sharp groundball to 3rd base and Ben Ellzey made a terrific diving play to save multiple runs and got the force out at 3rd base, allowing only one runner to score.
Wofford added another run in the second inning when McDougald capped a ground ball off the end of the bat up the first base line with the bases loaded. Anderson recorded the out at first, but Reed Massey scored from 3rd on the play, pushing the lead to 2-0.
The Rattlers loaded the bases in the bottom of the 4th with no outs but Kulmer pitched his way out of trouble. Ellzey and McCarty led off the inning with back to back singles to left field. With no outs and runners on first and second, Willis McDaniel laid a bunt down the 3rd base line for a single, loading the bases with no outs for Cameron Johnson. After Johnson struck out looking, Kulmer induced a ground ball to shortstop off the bat of junior Austin Michaud for a double play to end the Rattler threat.
Florida A&M pushed across its first runs of the day in the bottom of the 6th inning. Ellzey led off with a hard single through the left side. McCarty then laced a triple down the right field line for his third hit of the day, scoring Ellzey from first. Willis McDaniel brought in the final run of the inning on a ground out to second base, for the final score of 3-2.
The Rattlers had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th inning after Willis McDaniel led off with a single to right field and was moved into scoring position on a soft ground ball to first by Cameron Johnson. Terrier reliever Jordan Accetta retired the next two Rattler batters to end the game.
Accetta threw 3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Wofford, allowing 2 hits with 2 strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.
Florida A&M starter Ryan Anderson (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing 7 hits and 3 earned runs with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks in 5 innings pitched. Rattler relievers Ty Russ and Jamie Grant both pitched very well, combining for 4 scoreless innings of relief, surrendering only 1 hit with 4 strikeouts.
Florida A&M and Wofford will wrap up the series tomorrow at 1pm at Moore-Kittles field.