The baseball team lost three straight games against the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats this weekend at Moore-Kittles Field.
The Rattlers (2-32, 2-13 MEAC) dropped both games on Saturday, losing the first 4-1 and the second 16-3, and were shut out Sunday after allowing 4 runs to complete the wrong end of the sweep.
The Rattlers struggled at the plate in the first game of the double-header, producing only six hits. They managed to score a single run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Marlon Gibbs, a sophomore left fielder from Orange Park, Fla.
“He was throwing a lot of off-speed pitches,” Gibbs said of his RBI. “He really didn’t want me to hit anything into the outfield, so I just stayed back and did my job to help the team.”
David Duncan, a senior starting pitcher from Starke, Fla., pitched seven innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits. Duncan had seven strikeouts and no walks in the losing effort.
In game two, the Rattlers quickly picked up two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After two scoreless innings, they scored a run on another sacrifice fly by Gibbs in the fourth to take a 3-2 edge before collapsing in the sixth.
The Wildcats (18-17, 10-5 MEAC) picked up seven runs on five hits in the inning, even batting around their entire lineup during the frame.
The fielding was particularly sloppy as FAMU had two costly errors in the sixth that changed the complexion of the game.
“I think our breakdowns were all mental,” Gibbs said. “Some of us were tired, but we’ve got to make the routine plays.”
The Rattlers allowed another seven runs on two hits, including a three-run triple in the seventh inning.
Interim head coach Kevin Clethen said his team just didn’t care in its lackadaisical effort.
“We didn’t come here to play today,” Clethen said. “We have got to learn how to change our demeanor to where we can be more successful. Our focus needs to improve.”
Offensive struggles continued to plague the Rattlers in the final game of the series. The team only mustered five hits to the Wildcats’ 11.
FAMU trailed 2-0 after the fifth inning, but the lack of pitching depth hurt the Rattlers late. At the top of the ninth inning, the Wildcats scored two additional runs.
“These same situations will keep happening until we can become one,” Clethen said about dropping the final game of the series.
The Rattlers will look to find answers when they travel to Jacksonville, Fla., to take on the University of North Florida Ospreys at Harmon Stadium.