Florida A&M (6-2) handed Mercer (7-1) their first loss of 2017 on Tuesday night at Moore-Kittles Field thanks to a momentum swinging grand slam by Aubrey McCarty. The junior’s first home run of the season couldn’t have come at a better time. With the bases loaded and the Rattlers trailing 4-2 McCarty sent the offering from Nick Spear sailing over the right field fence, giving the Rattlers the lead for good. Florida A&M went on to win the game by a score of 10-7.
FAMU scored six runs in the sixth inning and four runs in the eighth inning to defeat Mercer in the first game of the midweek series. The Rattlers recorded 11 hits, their sixth double digit hitting performance of the year.
Florida A&M loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning after singles by Austin Michaud and Kaycee Reese and a walk by pinch hitter Cameron Johnson. John Capra and Brian Davis then reached base on free passes from Mercer reliever Robert Broom, bringing in the first two runs of the inning for FAMU. With two outs, Mercer made a pitching change, bringing in Nick Spear to face Aubrey McCarty, who delivered with a grand slam, surging the Rattlers ahead of the Bears by a score of 6-4.
FAMU added four runs in the eighth inning on three hits, extending their lead to 10-4. Michaud came up big in the inning, clearing the bases with a 3-RBI double, providing some much-needed insurance runs for the Rattlers. Kaycee Reese contributed with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Michaud from third.
Mercer made things interesting in the top of the ninth inning as they cut into the lead by scoring three runs on three hits, but Hunter Fillingim came in and closed the door, striking out Trey Truitt to seal the victory for FAMU.
Freshman Josh Wilson (5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K) pitched great in his first career start for the Rattlers. His only blemish came in the top of the fifth inning when Wilson surrendered a two-out walk followed by a Hunter Bening homerun.
Garrett Wilkinson was tabbed with the win after pitching one inning of relief for Florida A&M, giving up two runs. Hunter Fillingim came in to record the final out of the game, recording his first save of the season.
McCarty (HR, 4 RBI), Michaud (3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBI), Kaycee Reese (3-for-3, R, RBI), and Ben Ellzey (2-for-4, R, BB) led Florida A&M at the plate. Once again, Ellzey extended his hitting and on-base streak to 29 and 35 games respectively.
Robert Broom suffered the loss for the Bears after allowing five earned runs on two hits, two walks, and a hit by pitch.
Florida A&M and Mercer will meet again tomorrow at 4:00 PM at Moore-Kittles field to wrap up the midweek series.