The losses keep adding up and frustrations are starting to boil over for the Florida A&M University baseball team after it dropped a three-game series to Indiana University over the weekend. Thursday’s game was postponed and moved to Saturday as part of a double header.
The Rattlers dropped game one 10-2 as FAMU was out hit by the Hoosiers 16-2. The Hoosiers jumped out to an early lead that the Rattlers were never able to overcome.
Senior Stanley Gnat led the Ratters with a base hit and an RBI.Frustration continued to mount for the Rattlers as head coach Joe Durant was ejected from game two in the top of the third, arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire.
The inning was extended as two apparent strikes were called balls and Hoosier batter Jon Fixler got a base hit, scoring the second run for Indiana.
Junior pitcher Cirilo Manego held the Hoosiers at bay as he picked off two batters in the top of the sixth.
“I pitched them outside early in the game, and when they keyed in on the outside pitches, I started busting them inside,” Manego said. In the bottom half of the inning second basemen Corey McFadden hit a solo homerun to left field to bring the Rattlers within one run.
FAMU would take the lead in the bottom of the eighth as Darryl Evans hit a one out double to center field. Next, McFadden was walked to first base. After a double steal by Evans and McFadden shortstop Adam Gordon bunted home Evans to tie the game at two.
Jared Jeffries reached on an error by the Hoosier second basemen Evan Crawford, scoring McFadden to give the Rattlers their first lead of the ballgame 3-2.
Pitching coach Brett Richardson brought in freshmen pitcher Antonio Birch in the top of the ninth to finish off Indiana.With one out and a runner on second, right fielder Chris Haynes dropped a fly ball, the potential second out of the inning. Birch walked the next batter to load the bases. Crawford struck out swinging for the second out.
“We came out flat, and when coach got thrown out we got fired up,” Gnat said.
Fixler cleared the bases with a double to give Indiana a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth as the Hoosiers took game two 5-3.”We should have won, and it’s tough when you have pressure, but we have to learn to finish off our opponents,” continued Gnat.
FAMU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Jared Grace scored on a wild pitch.
Designated hitter Thaddous McBurrows scored the Rattlers second run on a throwing error by Crawford to put the Rattlers up 2-0.
Indiana poured it on in the fourth with seven runs and six hits to take a 7-2 lead.
The Rattlers would score runs in four of the five final innings, but the Hoosiers matched every run as Indiana took game three 16-10.
“These games have a seesaw effect,” Richardson said. “We go up then they catch up, and it just goes back and forth. We have to be aggressive and take these ballgames.”
In game three, FAMU was led by Evans, who hit a three-run homerun for his third of the year, and Jeffries, who hit his first home-run, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth.