Coming into the 2011 baseball season Florida A&M Interim Head Coach Brett Richardson looks to make the 2010 season a stepping stone for his young team. With only 10 wins a season ago the rattlers, coach Richardson believes the new team will be better despite last season‘s struggles.
“Even though we didn’t fare as well as we would have like to last year my team knows I will expect great things from them,” Richardson said.
The rattlers won 3 MEAC conference games last season but the struggles came because of the scholarship reductions per NCAA penalties. The rattlers were forced to play fifteen walk-ons last season but the players feel this season is a fresh start for everyone.
“We got a new light, new coach, and newer dream,” Timothy Jones said. Jones,22 is a senior pitcher and believes that the team has taken positive strides already with the steps new coach Brett Richardson has taken.
“The little things count and Coach has us working hard and because he believes in us we want to give something back to him”, Jones added.
Last season out of 292 Division 1-A baseball programs Florida A&M finished number 292 in fielding ranking last in that category. Improvements will come if the team plays as a complete unit and not look for individuals accolades.
“We will have very strong team play and with key players returning from injuries that will help improve our fielding and batting,” Richardson added.
David Duncan, Tim Jones, and Jimmie Terrell will be the catalyst for this season as the rattlers look to contend in an already tough MEAC conference.
Last season sophomore standout Derrick Shaw led the team in several offensive categories and gave the rattlers sparks that led to Shaw being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 41st round of the 2010 MLB draft.
Tobi Adeyeme is the leading batter returning from last season as he hit at a .334 rate with 31 hits and 3 homeruns which was tied for fourth best on the roster last season. John Scott will also be a big contributor after only appearing in 22 games a season ago, finishing the season with a .314 batting average.
“We feel pretty good about our team this season because we are little more experienced and our athletes should provide us with big numbers going into this season,” Richardson said.
The Rattlers began their season this February on the 18th .