Poor defense during the sixth inning doomed the Rattlers baseball team Tuesday afternoon, as it allowed the North Florida Ospreys to score 11 run en route to a 19-1 victory at Moore-Kittles Baseball Complex.
The Rattlers now sit on a 1-11 record overall, while the Ospreys improve to 8-4 on the season.
UNF produced a game-high 19 hits. Both Joe Wielbruda and Tyler Marincov led the Ospreys with earned with three hits each.
Relief-pitcher Spencer Herrmann (1-0) gained his first win for the Ospreys. He pitch two-third innings and faced six batters. He gave up one run.
FAMU’s Christopher Priestly (0-2) recorded the loss after five innings pitched. Priestly gave up five hits, two earned runs and six strikeouts.
During the contest, FAMU earned four hits. The Rattlers had three players to finish with one hit each.
After the Ospreys’ sixth inning explosion, Florida A&M lost its energy during the final innings and created holes for themselves with fielding and pitching errors.
The Rattlers had an opportunity to halt the Ospreys momentum, but wild pitches and costly errors allowed the Ospreys to gain 11 total runs during the sixth inning.
“I didn’t recognize the team I put out there tonight,” head coach Willie Brown said. “I put out nine guys that I felt can and could play, but they didn’t. I don’t know what happened, so I told the guys to go home and think about it because we have a game tomorrow against a nationally ranked team on the road.”
Inconsistencies on the field were evident by the several position substitutions late in the game. The Rattlers rotated more than five players in the outfield and infield. Brown even substituted his starting catcher.
“It was bodies on the field today,” pitcher David Duncan said. “We have to come to play. I don’t know what happened today, but we will fix that and go forward.”
Daniel Lee said the team’s lack of effort late in the game was the reason for its lopsided loss. He said playing hard during all nine innings would help the team grind through rough patches.
“We had a bad day. We have to learn how to fight through the game and breakaway,” Lee said. “We can’t stop playing we have to finish games.”
The Rattlers will return to action Wednesday, as they will travel to Gainesville to take on the University of Florida Gators.