Florida A&M’s baseball team looked to pick themselves up after dropping three games to Bethune Cookman University in lopsided losses last weekend.
The Rattlers went up against Selma College in a double header on Thursday. The orange and green took the field wearing their white home jersey’s and with a crowd of 150 on hand they were on a mission to win.
In game one Selma College started off with a bang, right fielder Terry McClain hit a double into the outfield. His teammate, second baseman Shane Gamble, hit a thunderous shot in the air that flying out to 3rd base, but McClain advanced to third.
FAMU’s starting pitcher, freshmen Heath Blackburn, tried to give Selma’s first baseman, Tashland Robinson, the high heat but it got away from catcher Justin Brown and McClain came home to score putting Selma up one to nothing. Blackburn rallied and got out of the inning striking out the side and ending the inning.
“I just came out and I tried to pitch and I focused on working on my mechanics all week during practice and I’m glad that I hit my spots,” said Blackburn.
In the top of the third, second baseman Steve Cunningham was given a free pass by pitcher J. R. Lowe, and Cunningham used some of his quickness to swap second base safely avoiding the tag. The Rattlers left-fielder Tobi Adeyemi singled down the left field line scoring Cunningham and driving in his first RBI of the day putting FAMU on the board and tying the game up one to one.
FAMU’s defense then went to work at the top of the fifth turning a double play and retiring the side. The fire-baller Blackburn stunned Selma by striking out leadoff batter centerfielder Eddie Waters. Then the rattlers banned together as the short-stop Jared Jeffries throws out Selma’s McClain at second base.
In the bottom of the fifth, FAMU’s centerfielder Darryl Evans singled to left field and stole second. The speedster Evans even stole third on a fly ball hit by Stavone Martin. Evans then used his skills and speed to steal home on a passed ball putting the Rattlers up five to one.
Selma’s combination of hits to the outfield by first baseman Tashland Robinson and designated hitter Antonio Rice helped their team score another run leaving the visitors down two to five.
In the bottom of the sixth inning left-fielder Adeyemi hit a crucial laser shot to left center as he helped lead the rattlers to victory closing out game one with a final score of nine to two.
FAMU’s catcher Oscar Santola spoke on his team’s success on game one. “We didn’t give up once and even when we were almost down we turned three or four double plays that helped us get the win.”
Game two took place 15 minutes later as the grounds crew watered down the field for play.
The Rattlers seemed very against to get started as they scored a game high of three runs in the first inning and continued to produce dominating Selma College with a final score of eight to one FAMU. Coach Brett Richardson was very happy with his team’s success.
“We just needed to play to get a win. The guys just needed to feel good about themselves,” said Richardson.
Steve Cunningham Outfielder Elliot Bonner said that he felt that the team changed up some things for the better to help achieve back to back wins. “We understood what we needed to do and we took it upon ourselves to start over.”