TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M (13-19, 8-6 MEAC) recorded its first shutout of the season to defeat North Florida (15-18, 6-6 A-SUN) 2-0 on Wednesday at Moore-Kittles Field. The shutout was the first for the Rattlers since March 19, 2009 (270 games), a 10-0 win over Albany State. Bennie Robinson scored both runs for FAMU including a solo home run while going 2-for-4.Starting catcher Jeremy Barlow also went 3-for-4 to help pace the Rattler offense.
The Rattlers scored all they needed with a run in the home half of the first inning. Robinson roped a one-out double into left center and came around to score following a pair of Osprey wild pitches to make the score 1-0.
Florida A&M increased its lead to the final margin of 2-0 as Robinson led off the third inning with a solo home run over the fence in right, his fifth of the season.
FAMU’s bullpen was stellar for the second consecutive game as they only allowed three Osprey hits over the final 4.2 innings. Brandon Fleming pitched 2.2 innings, only giving up two hits, and Blake Quillin earned his first save of the season while working the final two innings with three strikeouts.
North Florida loaded the bases in the fourth as Trent Higginbothem, Alex Bacon and Patrick Ervin recorded three consecutive one out singles for the Ospreys. Florida A&M starter Matthew Schaeffer then pitched Alex Merritt into an inning-ending double play to keep UNF off the board.
The Ospreys tried to get things going again in the fifth inning after a double and single put runners on the corners with one out. Fleming would then come in on the mound for the Rattlers, in relief of Schaeffer, and retired the side as North Florida again failed to score.
Fleming pitched out of another bases loaded jam in the seventh for the Rattlers. With no outs, UNF’s Kyle Brooks lined into a double play at third as Ryan Kennedy was able to also tag the bag for the second out of the inning. Corbin Olmstead ended the scoring chance for the Ospreys, grounding into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
North Florida starter Bryan Baker (1-3) took the loss for the Ospreys.
Florida A&M returns to MEAC play this weekend as the Rattlers host Savannah State (12-21, 3-9 MEAC), for a three game series beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 12 at 1:00 pm.
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