It was the perfect day for baseball at Moore-Kittles Field for the doubleheader between the Florida A&M University baseball team and in-state rival Bethune-Cookman College Saturday.
BCC started the scoring in game one in the top of the second inning with a line drive blast over the left-field wall by outfielder Nabil Sagbini.
The Rattlers responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game at two apiece.
Struggling defense and unforced errors by the Rattlers allowed BCC to pull away, gaining a 12 to 3 edge over the Rattlers by the end of the seventh inning.
“Mistakes really set us back today. We committed 12 errors in a total of 18 innings of play today,” said Arien Cannon, a sophomore business administration student from Columbia, S.C.
“It seemed like they scored almost every time we committed an error.”
The Rattlers notched three more runs in the eighth inning, but the damage was done.
Game one ended with BCC over FAMU 13-6.
Left-hander Ben Baylor started on the mound for the Rattlers, completing five innings, before Stephen Register took over the pitching duties in the sixth.
Junior Anthony Mazzeo led the offense with two hits, two RBIs, and one run scored.
The tough loss in game one gave the Rattlers an additional mental obstacle to overcome in the second game of the doubleheader. BCC took full advantage of the struggling Rattlers, jumping out to a five-run lead by the end of the second inning.
“We have to play with more confidence, more like a team,” said Corey McFadden, a business administration student from Tampa.
The 19-year-old second basemen made several exciting plays on defense early in game two, trying to inject energy into the Rattler squad. McFadden also tried to spark the offense with his hustle down the first base line to beat out the throw on a bunt to get on base in the first inning.
Pitching struggles, however, allowed BCC to control most of the game as the Wildcats scored three runs off wild pitches in the first two innings. The final score for game two was BCC 9, FAMU 3.
Although the Rattlers suffered two losses Saturday against the Wildcats, they still had some positives to take with them for the remainder of the season.
“Our determination was on display today, we never gave up in either of the games,” McFadden said.
They will need this determination as the team’s next four games will be on the road against Alabama State on Wednesday and North Carolina A&T in a three game series in the coming weekend.
North Carolina A&T was the pre-season pick to finish first in the MEAC this season. With the two losses Saturday, FAMU falls to 5-15 for the season.
Contact Kenneth Whaley at email@example.com