Poor defense was more than the Rattlers baseball team could overcome this weekend, as it dropped the three-game series against the Jackson State Tigers at Moore-Kittles Baseball Complex.
With the defeat, Florida A&M fell to a 5-21 season record, while the Tigers improved to 16-7.
“We had a letdown moment,” head coach Willie Brown said about the series. “We competed through the first five innings. We pitched well and played well. We had one letdown moment. With our lineup, we gave our guys a chance in the game.”
During game one, FAMU defeated the Tigers 5-4. The Rattlers outperformed the Tigers on offense as they produced 10 hits to the Tigers’ six.
John Scott, Scott Sheplak and Daniel Lee led the Rattlers with two hits. Desmond Russell and Charles Epperson earned two hits each for the Tigers.
The Rattlers had many comeback opportunities during game two on Saturday but were unable to capitalize as they lost 11-7. Their last opportunity came during the sixth inning, but the Tigers held off the late-inning rally.
The Tigers outhit FAMU 13-11 during game two. Reginald Grant led the Rattlers from the plate as he produced three hits in five at bats with one RBI. Louis Torres and Aneko Knowles tallied a team-leading three hits for the Tigers.
Mental lapses doomed the Rattlers during the final game on Sunday. JSU’s Kendall Logan hit a two-run inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning because of throwing errors. The Rattlers were scoreless the remainder of the game.
Both teams completed the contest with seven hits. Both Dylan West and Cory Franklin produced two hits for the Rattlers, while Frank Solis’ two hits to lead the Tigers.
Defensive lapses plagued the Rattlers in their losses over the weekend. The Rattlers had five errors, which prolonged innings. In an attempt to control the damage, FAMU used eight different pitchers during the series.
“I was supposed to pitch on Wednesday, but the coach told me to get loose and get ready and I knew I was coming in today,” pitcher David Duncan said. “So I had to go behind Thomas and perform.”
The Rattlers tallied many hit during the series but were hitless during crucial moments. FAMU was undone by 29 stranded base runners during the series.