On diamond, Wildcats run over Rattlers – twice

The Florida A&M University baseball team was swept away at the Moore-Kittles Field in Saturday’s double header against rival Bethune-Cookman University.

In game one, the Wildcats blanked FAMU 10-0, taking advantage of mistakes made by the Rattlers.

Wild pitches, passed balls and base running errors allowed the Wildcats to jump out to an early 8-0 lead. Of the 10 runs scored, eight came after three innings as starting pitcher Cirilo Manego was pulled after one inning, giving up seven runs, three earned.

The New Orleans native walked four of the 11 batters he faced.

“If you don’t throw strikes you can’t win ball games,” said Manego, 22. “Anytime you put your team in a 7-0 hole it’s kind of hard to scratch and claw to try to come back seven runs later.”

After three passed balls and a wild pitch, junior catcher Adam Gordon was pulled for sophomore Chris Justin.

Justin said he relieved Gordon because of injury but attributed the past balls and wild pitch on the pitchers and catchers not being on the same page.

“His thumb was hurting; it’s not because he can’t catch, he’s a good catcher,” said Justin, 19.

Reliever Artist Patton worked the final six innings for the Rattlers giving up two hits, two runs and striking out three.

Wildcat pitcher Hiram Burgos struck out six batters.

The junior Puerto Rico native shut out the Rattlers in seven innings of work, earning his second win of the season. Chris Brown and Emmanuel Castro homered for Bethune-Cookman as the Wildcats scattered eight hits over nine innings.

Seven different Rattlers collected hits, but FAMU was unable to produce any runs because of mistakes on the base path.

Darryl Evans tried to stretch a double into a triple but was thrown out by short stop Jose Lozada.

In the seventh inning with two runners in scoring position Rattler outfielder Jared Grace ran to third base while Tim Jones was already occupying the base, forcing Jones to be tagged out.

Head coach Bob Lucas said the problem for the loss is that the players do not execute what is learned in practice.

“We don’t repeat the things we are taught,” Lucas said. “It’s not that we don’t teach base running; we teach.”

The Wildcats took game two 9-1 as Joseph Gautier and Joseph Munoz shut down the Rattlers, giving up one base hit and one run.

Sophomore Thaddous McBurrows was the only Rattler to reach on a base hit as the left-handed Gautier held FAMU in check, pitching five innings before Munoz finished off FAMU in the final two innings.

The Wildcats added their third and fourth home runs of the series as right fielder Neal Jones hit his first home run of the season.

In the third inning Osvaldo Torres led off the inning with a solo homerun. The Wildcats scored in all but the first and sixth innings.

The Rattlers will play Alabama State on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on the Moore-Kittles Field.