The Rattler baseball team completed a weekend sweep of Norfolk State University with a 10-2 vitory Sunday afternoon at Moore-Kittles Field.
Both teams started out slow, but first blood was drawn in the top of the fifth inning by Norfolk State when second baseman ByronTalton hit a line drive homerun over the right field wall off of FAMU pitcher Josh Dean to go up 1-0.
FAMU doubled NSU’s output in the following half inning when junior left fielder Eric Bernier hit a solo homerun to right center field to tie game 1-1. Second baseman Nick Parker then followed with a walk; he would score later that inning on a Todd Rodman RBI single.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rattlers produced a two out rally, by loading the bases with a walk by catcher Chris Branning, an infield hit by first baseman Jay Drayton and Eric Bernier was hit by a pitch.
Kevin Clethan, who pinch ran for Chris Branning, would score on a bases loaded walk by Nick Parker, tacking on another run to go up 3-1.
NSU added a run in the top of the seventh off of a pinch hit RBI single by Joshua Melvin. But that is all the Trojans would score against the stellar pitching duo of Junior Josh Dean and Freshman Carl Johnson.
“Overall I had a good (outing),” said Dean of his pitching performance.
“At times the windy coonditions made my pitches do things they weren’t supposed to, but over all I had a good day.”
In the bottom of the seventh is when the rout began for the Rattlers.
Senior right fielder Ben Morgan had an infield hit. Then senior third baseman AlcidesSegui singled to right field.
Morgan and Segui would score on a throwing error by the NSU short stop Carlos Cabrera when catcher Patrick Pinkerton hit a ground ball to him, making the score 5-2.
The following at-bat Drayton was hit by a pitch and Eric Bernier singled scoring Pinkerton from second. With a 6-2 lead, Parker walked loading the bases for senior shortstop Frank Scott who singled in Drayton and Bernier extending FAMU’s lead to 8-2. Parker then scored on a pass ball on the next pitch and Morgan singled to left field to score Scott from third, shutting the door on Norfolk State 10-2.
“We started out sluggish but we got good pitching and the bats started to come around,” said head coach Joe Durant.
Johnson would shut the door on Norfolk State retiring six of his last seven batters, four by strike outs.
The Rattlers (14-11, 3-2 MEAC) will travel to Gainesville Wednesday to play a make-up game against the University of Florida.
Travon McCall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org