Florida A&M (14-6, 5-1 MEAC) allowed four runs in the first inning and could never get anything going offensively as they dropped Tuesday night’s game to Mercer (18-4) by a score of 9-2 at OrthoGeorgia Park.
Florida A&M starter Josh Wilson struggled with his command early, walking three hitters in the top of the first inning.
With one out and the bases loaded, Danny Edgeworth singled to right field to score the game’s first run. After facing only five hitters, Wilson was removed from the game and replaced by reliever Jamie Grant, who was unable to limit the damage. The Bears added three more runs in the top of the first inning on a passed ball and an error, taking a 4-0 lead.
Mercer’s starting pitcher, Kevin Coulter (2-1) gave the Bears a strong start, allowing no runs through five innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Coulter carried a no-hitter through the fourth inning, before Garret Wilkinson singled with one out in the top of the fifth.
Mercer added two runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-0 lead on RBI groundout by Danny Edgeworth and an RBI single by Hunter Bening.
The Rattlers scratched across their first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning.
Kaycee Reese got things started with a walk, then John Capra executed a perfect hit and run to place runners on the corners. With one out, Ellzey lined an RBI single into right field, scoring Reese from third.
Mercer answered in the bottom frame, scoring two runs on Charlie Madden’s home run to left center field.
The Bears added another run in the seventh inning on a passed ball, pushing the lead to 9-1.
The Rattlers showed some fight in the top of the ninth, sending seven hitters to the plate, but only managed to score one run.
Kodi Russ lined a single to right center to start things off. Russuall Rauh then worked a walk and Malachi Mitchell reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. With the bench completely empty, Jake Lister, a relief pitcher, was forced to hit for himself, striking out for the first out of the inning. Dallas Oliver then drove in FAMU’s second run of the game on an RBI groundout to second base. Austin Michaud worked a walk to load the bases again with two outs, but Octavien Moyer flew out to center for the final out of the game.
Wilson (0-2) suffered the loss after recording only one out in the first inning.
The Rattlers managed only four hits in the game and struck out nine times.
Ben Ellzey and Kodi Russ were the lone bright spots for the Rattlers offensively. Ellzey finished 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Russ singled and scored a run in his only at bat.
Florida A&M will face Mercer again tomorrow at 4:00 PM at OrthoGeorgia Park where they will look to take the season series from the Bears.