The Rattlers were hungry for victory after an eight game slump as they went up against the Alabama State University Hornets. Wednesday afternoon, pitcher Steven Dollar took the mound at Moore-Kittles Field with the crowd cheering on for a win. With all eyes on him, Dollar retired the side leaving Alabama State hitless. The Rattlers struck the Hornets with a three run lead in the top of the first, but the hornets escaped only allowing three.
The Rattlers offense cruised as they took a 3-to-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. They scored three runs on three hits. Derrick Shaw sent Daniel Lee to score with an RBI double down the left field line. Justin Abney showed off some of his power as he hit a line drive single, scoring Shaw. Second baseman Oscar Santola came to the plate and crushed a pitch to the right field corner as he hit a triple, which brought Abney in to score.
The Rattlers continued to pile on more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Abney hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Shaw, followed by centerfielder Scott Sheplak’s line drive single to score Jimmie Terrell. Santola then scored as Darius Washington grounded out to the shortstop, followed by a single by outfielder Elliot Bonner bringing home Sheplak, giving the Rattlers a 7-to-0 lead. Alabama State knocked in its lone run of the contest in the seventh when designated hitter Drew Quinney crossed the plate on a ground out by right fielder Adrian Snell. After three scoreless innings of play, the Rattlers scored the last two runs in the bottom half of the seventh. Then Santalo grounded out to the first baseman as Terrell slid into the plate for the 9-to-1 win.
The players celebrated at home plate after their long awaited victory. Bonner said, “We stuck to our hitting approach and received great pitching and defense. Everyone was focused and ready.”
The Rattlers finished the game with 10 hits, and ASU only had five. With the win Florida A&M’s record improved to (7-19-1). Derrick Shaw and Jimmie Terrell led the Rattlers to victory with two hits each. Dollar picked up the win and his record improves to (3-3) for the Rattlers as he pitched nine scoreless innings, only allowing five hits and striking out seven.
Both teams saw their starting pitchers throw a complete game. Alabama State’s Devin Dominguez worked eight innings striking out seven.
Rattler Coach Kentaus Carter was thrilled with the way his team played, and he said that he would like to see more of this type of play in the future.
“I’m just glad that we got it together and finally we have something to be happy about,” Carter said.
Next up, the Rattlers will be facing Delaware State in Dover, Del., in a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.