Rattlers blame loss to Tigers on half-hearted performance

On a downward slope of a rollercoaster season, the Florida A&M baseball team practically gave a win to Edward Waters College. With an extremely slow start that seemed to drag on for an eternity, the first run for the Rattlers wasn’t scored until the fifth inning.

The final score was four to three.

?It was tough and the Rattlers fought diligently. Nevertheless, they succumbed to the Tigers. So far, the Rattlers have had a rather mixed season full of ups and downs – with more losses than wins.

Julian Bailey, 23, a senior pitcher, said he feels as though the team?takes three steps forward only to take two steps back.

“It’s been up and down,” said Bailey, a senior from Jacksonville. “We start stringing together wins and then we come out and underestimate somebody and let them beat us.”

He said he feels the team was rather lackluster during the game against Edward Waters and said it would be an easy roll-over win.

“We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game,” Bailey said.

The game began with the Tigers at the top of the first inning. After several humdrum innings, things took off during the fifth inning when sophomore Darryl Evans doubled to the right field and Tim Jones, a freshman from Atlanta, scored. The sixth inning saw a run for the Tigers but no runs or hits for the Rattlers. In the seventh inning Florida A&M gained two runs and four hits. Even so, it wasn’t enough.

Anthony Espin, 19, a Rattler baseball player, blames the loss on fatigue.

“We just got back Monday at 10:00 in the morning,” said Espin, a native of Tampa. “I think we’re kind of tired and it’s the middle of the season. We just came off a loss from Delaware.”

Though Espin said he feels they didn’t hit the ball,his team pitched a good game thanks to Eddie Thomas, a sophomore from Sasser, Ga.

?”The pitcher, Eddie hasn’t even been a starter,” Espin said. “I mean he came in through eight innings. That’s the most he’s thrown all year and that’s what we needed today. He kept us in the game.”

Tim Schalch, who serves as shortstop and also proved to be very instrumental during the baseball game, started the seventh inning off with a base hit, affording two runs. He said normally his teammates follow suit.

“Usually if we get a lead off a guy on at first we usually go,” said Schalch, a junior from Sarasota.”We needed to make the adjustment to the pitchers. But we just didn’t make the adjustments, therefore we didn’t hit the ball.”

Schalch said the team spirit was low as well.

“The morale of the team was very low,” he said. “I try and build everybody up. Sometimes they follow, sometimes they don’t. Today I just felt like nobody was up and ready to play.”

Outfielder Darryl Evans, 19, whom the team affectionately refers to as “Boogie,” ended the game by over running the base. But it was too little, too late.

“Boogie, he just didn’t slide, and that’s baseball 101, sliding to second base,” Schalch said. “It was just a mental lapse,usually he’s a pretty good base runner.”

Though the team is optimistic about an upcoming game against Jacksonville University, head coach Robert Lucas isn’t so hopeful.

“We played as poorly as can be,” Lucas said. “And until we have dedicated baseball players, people who want to win through the tradition of Florida A&M, we’re going to have the same results.”