This year, FAMU’s baseball team has a one-track mind. They are focused on winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship.
“Our goals are to improve on our 27-27 record from last year and to win the MEAC Championship,” said head coach Joe Durant.
Last year’s record was good enough for second place in the conference. However, last year is in the past and the Rattlers are looking forward.
The team is full of juniors and seniors that are ready to bring the Rattlers their first conference championship since 1994. Last year, FAMU had three players receive All-MEAC honors. Two of these players, Chris Branning and Frank Scott, are returning this year.
“We definitely want to win the MEAC since we have lost to Bethune-Cookman the last four years,” said Scott, a senior shortstop from Orlando. “I believe we can do this since we have a lot of key players returning.”
Pitcher Mike Sills shares Scott’s hunger to win against Bethune-Cookman this season.
“A lot of people coming back remember how it felt to lose to Bethune these last few years,” said Sills, a junior from Tallahassee. “We are trying to make sure that it does not happen again this year.”
In order to accomplish these goals, the Rattlers need help from fans. In the past, however, attendance at baseball games has been poor.
“We lost 10-12 games last year by one or two runs,” said Branning, a junior catcher from Marianna. “We (the team) need to put up numbers to win key games, and the fans can help us get over that hump.”
The first opportunity for Rattler’s to support their team is Feb.4, when the Rattlers take on Jacksonville University.
“Crowd support is necessary, we are begging for support from our fans,” Durant said.
-Kyle Hopewell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org