A late rally by the Rattlers wasn’t enough to stave off the visiting Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University as they lost 7-6.
The Rattlers (10-17) trailed early, allowing two runs off in the fourth inning.
FGCU (19-11) freshman infielder Sterling Koerner hit a double that brought in a runner to get things going for the Eagles. Next, freshman second baseman Jake Noll ended, hitting a ground out RBI, bringing their lead to 2-0.
The Rattlers answered back with a run of their own sparked by junior infielder Ryan Kennedy, who scored on a wild pitch bringing the rattlers within one.
The Rattlers evened things up at 2-2 in the fifth inning as junior outfielder Blake Quillin scored on a ground out by junior first basemen Michael Birdsong.
The Rattlers finally took lead 3-2 when junior outfielder Marlon Gibbs tagged up from third base after a wild pitch in the sixth inning.
FGCU stormed back to knot things up at 3-3 in the seventh thanks to a RBI single up the middle by sophomore outfielder Tyler Selesky.
The Rattlers scored two runs in the seventh to regain the lead 5-3.
FGCU once again climbed back into the game with a single by sophomore outfielder Colton Bottomley, bringing in two runs and tying the game at 5-5.
The Rattlers ended up scoring another in the bottom of the eighth after Kendall Weeks scored on a RBI single by Quillin putting them up 6-5.
In the top of the ninth the Rattlers gave up two runs on a triple by junior infielder Ryan O’Malley that put them up for good.
Florida A&M head coach Jamey Shouppe said The Rattlers had the game where they wanted it, but they have to do a better job executing.
“We have to play smarter,” Shouppe said. “We still didn’t execute like I think we should, and I always challenge our guys to study the game of baseball and to always be ready to perform at a high level.”
Quillin believed this loss was difficult on the team psyche, and that the team just needs to fix some things.
” I felt like we were completely in it,” Quillin said. “It’s the little things we need to correct that I feel is cause us to have these late-game lapses.”
Senior first Baseman Bennie Robinson felt the overall effort was impressive despite the loss.
“The past is the past,” Robinson said. “I loved the way we fought and competed, unfortunately we just came up short. But we’ll be alright.”
Next up for the Rattlers is a three game series on April 5 and 6, against the Wildcats of Bethune Cookman..