Despite a late rally the Florida A&M University baseball team still managed to go down to the Alabama State University Hornets 11-10 during a Tuesday afternoon game.
For seven innings, the FAMU baseball team struggled through what seemed to be a no hitter at Moore-Kittles Field. Early in the square-off the Hornets took a head start, leaving the Rattlers behind 6-0 in the top of the fifth.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh that left fielder Jarred Jeffries got the bats going with the Rattlers’ first hit of the game.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” said a frustrated FAMU head coach Robert Lucas. “You can only teach your players so much; people who are in the doing frame of mind succeed. We’re in the trying (frame of mind.)”
The Rattlers picked up two runs in the seventh inning, giving the offense a spark and a 9-2 deficit to the Hornets.
At the top of the eighth, the Hornets found themselves gaining two RBIs under Farquan Shamsud-Din and Fiallo Giovanni. This gave the Hornets an 11-2 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth the Hornets began to unravel, giving up their first RBI to FAMU infielder Roland Chandler. This led to two other RBIs from Chris Justin, who drove in Chandler and Tim Jones.
The Rattlers seemed to find their momentum, picking up the pace with 3 hits and 1 error in the bottom of the eighth. The Rattlers cut the Hornets’ lead to 11-5.
Second baseman Corey McFadden said this type of loss isn’t one he wanted to become familiar.
“We have to take this one as a learning experience,” McFadden said. “We have to grasp the information and start winning from the beginning.”
The Rattlers, who have found themselves digging their way out of a hole the last few games, have noticed lately they have been on the losing end of close games.
“In baseball, hills are hard to climb,” Lucas said. “This whole season we have found ourselves coming from behind. We need consistency in order to win.”
For the Hornets, head coach Larry Watkins said this victory couldn’t be any sweeter.
“This feels great. It always feels good to win,” Watkins said. “It’s the first time we whooped FAMU in years. They have a good ball club and in the end we just out-hit them.”
The Rattlers gained more momentum in the ninth inning. The team put up 5 runs, but didn’t have enough juice to bring home the game.
Senior pitcher Julian Bailey said the team needs to focus on the basics.
“We need to do fundamentals,” he said. “We beat ourselves today. We been doing it all season.”
The Rattlers (2-12) play again at home Wednesday against Albany State at 3 p.m.