The Rattlers baseball team made strides over the weekend, as it earned its first series victory against archrival Bethune-Cookman in 14 seasons at the Moore-Kittles Baseball Complex.
Florida A&M won 3-2 during game one and 5-4 during game two before losing 6-3 in game three.
The Rattlers move to 3-13 on the season and 2-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, while the Wildcats move to 6-9 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Rattlers played from behind during the first two games of the series. But they pulled out victories with late rallies after heroics by Jarryd Reid, Cory Franklin and Tyler Lawson.
After dominating losses to the University of Florida Gators, the Rattlers dug deep to pull out two gutsy wins against the defending MEAC baseball champion.
The Rattlers produced 29 hits during the three-game series, and the Rattlers allowed 18 hits. The Wildcats played smarter and more effectively by earning clutch hits, while the Rattlers combined for four errors that extended many Wildcat at bats.
“We can play with anybody in the country,” head coach Willie Brown said. “If we play baseball the way I know we can, we can beat anybody. It’s been a long time coming for us. Bethune is very dominate in the MEAC, and be able to beat them says that we can beat anybody in the conference.”
Catcher/outfielder Cory Franklin, who played with a groin muscle injury, said he knew this series against the Wildcats was important.
“It was a big weekend for us and I wanted to play through it,” Franklin said. “I wanted to show the guys that we are all in this together.”
The final game of the series was a defensive battle, and the Rattlers fell short down the stretch. The Wildcats scored two runs in the seventh inning to steal the momentum for the Rattlers and seal the victory.
“I wanted to make some stuff happen for the team; we wanted to win this game,” said second baseman Tyler Lawson. “We wanted to take it to them, but we didn’t. We started off good and we just couldn’t finish the game.”
The Rattlers will return to action against today against Alabama State at the Moore-Kittles Baseball Complex.