Rattler pitching a problem

After a home stand that consisted of peaks and valleys, the Rattlers hope their hot bats will overcome their troubles on the mound.

Pitching is the one component of baseball that can truly dictate how many wins a team may have overall, yet with the conference schedule approaching in late March, Florida A&M University’s pitching depth is becoming a concern for the Rattlers.

Robert Lucas, FAMU’s head baseball coach, said they have to find at least seven pitchers that can be consistent for the remainder of the season, and throw continuous good pitches.

“You have to believe you can throw strikes before you can throw them, and we’re not doing that right now,” Lucas said.

The Rattlers won one of the three games during their home stand, giving up ninety-one runs in the first nine games of the season. 

The Rattlers opponents are averaging 10.1 runs per game, and have scored 10 or more runs in five of their nine games against the Rattlers’ pitching staff.

Lucas also added that the lay-off between their last game, a double-header on March 3 against Campbell University, and their next game, March 18 against the University of South Florida, will help their pitchers performance.

“Having added rest will allow the pitchers to perform better and the schedule allows for that as the season goes on,” Lucas said.

On March 17, the Rattlers suffered a 6-1 loss against the University of South Florida after winning a double header against Concordia College on March 12-13.

Even with the struggles of the Rattlers’ pitching staff, the offense has been the major force for the team so far this season.

Tobi Adeyemi, 21, a junior psychology student from Chicago and left fielder, said anytime there are struggles with pitching it’s only natural to feel pressure as a batter to put up big numbers.

“We know we can’t take our defensive struggles to bat with us because that will only place unnecessary stress on us,” Adeyemi said.

Adeyemi also commented on the depth of the team’s pitching lineup, and how it is attributing to the troubles.

“It’s not like our guys are tired,” Adeyemi said. “They’re just not throwing strikes, but we all know we have a solid staff and it is only a matter of time before they catch up with our hitting.”

The Rattlers currently have a team batting average of .376, and average 8.5 runs per game so far this season.

They also have scored five or more runs in seven of their nine past games. The Rattlers win against Edward Waters College  Feb. 28 is also the only one earned during their home stand thus far.

Lucas said that the team is steady improving and have worked hard to be a better hitting team this year.

Darryl Evans, 21, a junior physical education student from Merrillville, Ind., said everyone in the line-up fuels the team’s offense.

“We’re getting contributions from everyone which makes us a good hitting team,” said Evans, who also plays center field.