Florida A&M (31-20, 19-5 MEAC) took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning, but Bethune-Cookman (28-25, 17-7 MEAC) scored three runs in the sixth inning and one in the ninth inning to defeat the Rattlers by a score of 5-2 in the winner’s bracket at the MEAC Baseball Tournament on Monday. FAMU left 11 runners on base in the loss and had the bases loaded three different times. Brian Davis led the offense, going 3-for-5 at the plate, while the defense turned three double plays in the game. The Rattlers will face the winner of the Coppin State vs. Norfolk State game this evening at 6:30 PM.
JoJo Durden (2-3) suffered the loss as he worked six innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits. Durden also tied a season high with seven strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.
FAMU scored first with a single run in the home half of the third inning for a 1-0 lead. Alec Wong and Davis started things off with back-to-back singles and with one out, Jacky Miles, Jr. singled just over the glove of the second baseman to load the bases. Ben Ellzey then reached on an RBI fielder’s choice as Miles, Jr. was out at second, but Wong was able to score from third for the first run of the game.
For B-CU in the fourth inning, Danny Rodriguez hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo home run with one out, to tie the game at 1-1.
The Rattlers regained the lead at 2-1 with one run in the fifth inning. Wong led off being hit-by-pitch and went to third on a single into right center field from Davis. After a strikeout to Dylan Dillard, Wong scored his second run of the game from third as Miles, Jr. reached on an RBI fielder’s choice.
Bethune took its first lead of the game at 4-2 with three run (two earned) in the sixth inning. Demetrius Sims reached on an infield single to the shortstop as Elkins slipped trying to plant on the throw to first. Michael Cruz then singled to right field to place runners on first and second with no outs. Sims was later out at third for the first out as Rodriguez reached on a fielder’s choice bunt attempt. Cruz and Rodriguez moved up a base on a single down the right line from Clay Middleton, but Middleton was thrown out at first after rounding too far around first base. Nathan Bond would then plate both runners with a two-run single that gave Bethune-Cookman the lead for good. Bond scored the third run of the inning on a fielding error by Dillard at first base.
Florida A&M had another huge opportunity in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but was unable to score. With one out, Elkins doubled over the head of the right fielder and Peter Jackson drew a walk as runners were now on first and second. Wong loaded the bases with a two-out walk, but Davis was called out on strikes on a ball low and away to end the threat.
In the top of the ninth inning, Nate Sterijevski belted his first home run of the season over the wall in left field to push the B-CU lead to 5-2.
Alexis Hererra (2-0) picked up the win as he pitched 1.2 innings of relief and allowed one run on two hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Florida A&M will face the winner of the Norfolk State/Coppin State game at 6:30 PM today.