The Florida A&M Rattlers Baseball team started their season 0-3 playing against the University of Richmond, Ohio State University, and the University of North Florida in the UNF Baseball Classic at Harmon stadium in Jacksonville this past weekend.
The Rattlers opened their season with a new strategy set in place by head coach Robert Lucas.
“During the first few games, we will see where players are on the field and see who can we depend on,” Lucas said. “We will use a lot of different combinations in the beginning of the season and by midseason we should have a solid foundation of about 14 players.”
The Rattlers opened their season against Richmond on Friday, and lost 23-1.
Leading Rattlers were Tobi Adeyemi and Mykel Benson, who both went 2-3 at the plate, followed by Oscar Santola who went 1-2.
“We needed to communicate better and we were trying to do too much in certain situations,” said Randon Pinkney. “We could have easily not have made as many errors and could have made smarter decisions on the bases.”
Saturday against the Ohio State University, the Rattlers lost to the Buckeyes 16-1. Leading the Rattler offense was Stavone Martin who was 2-3 at the plate followed by Jared Jeffries who was 2-4 at the plate.
The first two teams that the Rattlers played were very competitive teams and they made the Rattlers work.
“The games gave us some good competition,” said Darryl Evans, a criminal justice student from Merrillville, Ind. “I think we can compete with the bigger teams and plus we played hard every play and we didn’t give up.”
During the last game of the classic against UNF, the Rattlers seemed to have found their groove, but they still fell short, losing 6-5.
“We didn’t have as many walks this game, and we just went after them,” Evans said. “We just forgot about the past two games and played hard.”
The Rattlers only had two errors and eight hits in the final game. Leading the Rattlers was Justin Abney who went 2-3 at the plate, followed by Stavone Martin who went 2-4 at the plate.
The Rattlers seemed to have been more comfortable during the last game and were able to keep the score close the entire game.
“In the first game we thought we knew what we were getting ourselves into, but we didn’t know fully,” Pinkney said. “And then the next game we kind of had somewhat of an idea of what we needed to do better. The last game we went in with a better mind set and were focused on what needed to be done and cut back on our errors.”
The Rattlers next game will be home on Feb. 23, against Mercer University at 6 p.m.
“Having a home game will give us more spirit as we play,” Evans said. “Even if we do not get the support that we want, we will still play hard the whole game.”