TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 2) – The Florda A&M University Baseball team let their Wednesday afternoon game with visiting Florida Gulf Coast University slip away in the late innings, suffering a bitter 7-6 loss at Moore-Kittles Field.
FAMU (10-17) was outhit, 14-8 by the visiting Eagles (19-11), keeping themselves in contention by holding the Rattlers to just one run in the first four innings, stranding five runners combined in the third and fourth innings.
The Eagles drew first blood in the fourth, scoring two runs on three hits, before the Rattlers rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning, leaving the bases loaded, after leaving two runners on in the third.
FAMU tied the game at 2-2 in the fifthwhen Michael Birdsong’s RBI grounder to second scored Blake Quillin, who reached on a lead off double, from third.
The Rattlers pushed ahead, 3-2 with a run in the sixth when Marlon Gibbs scored from third on a wild pitch, after reaching on a leadoff double.
FGCU tied the game i3-3 with a run in the seventh, but FAMU barged back in front, 5-3 on RBI singles by Jeremy Barlow and Ryan Hutson in the bottom of the seventh.
The game turned against the Rattlers in the eighth, as the Eagles pushed across a pair of runs on Colton Bottomley’s two-run single to tie the score a 5-5, before the Rattlers took their last lead at 6-5, on Blake Quillin’s RBI single, scoring Kendal Weeks.
In the top of the ninth, the Eagles pulled the game out, scoring two runs on Ryan O’Malley’s triple to left for a 7-6 lead.
FAMU got a leadoff single from Michael Birdsong, but pinch runner Logan Seymour was thrown out attempting to steal second when Ryan Hutson struck out, putting the Rattlers in a two out hole.
Jeremy Barlow followed with a full count walk, but Marlon Gibbs struck out to end the FAMU threat.
Quillin led FAMU with two hits and an RBI.
Reliever Brandon Fleming (0-3) was credited with the loss for FAMU, working one-and-two-third innings with two strikeouts, allowing the two fatal ninth inning runs .
WHAT’S NEXT: The Rattlers return to MEAC play Saturday and Sunday with a critical series at Bethune-Cookman. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game will start at 1 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium in downtown Daytona Beach…. Sunday’s game will air nationally on ESPN3 (1 p.m.) and ESPNU (6 p.m.).