Pushed back two and a half hours, the Wednesday baseball game between the Florida A&M Rattlers and Florida Gulf Coast began at 6:30 pm.
FAMU got off to an early lead in the first inning. FGCU’s lack of ability to catch pop flys coupled with big hits from FAMU led to a total of six runs in the first inning for the Rattlers. The Rattlers led the game 6-2 going into the second inning, but the Eagles battled back tying the game 6-6 going into the third.
The two teams fought back-to-back innings for any type of a lead, but remained consistent in holding each other to ties.
FAMU took the lead in the bottom the seventh inning by two runs but FGCU quickly returned the runs at the top of the eighth inning tying up the game yet again. Ending the ninth inning at a 9-9 tie, the two teams headed into extra innings. Holding each other deadlock in the 10th, they carried on to the 11th inning where FGCU exploded for four runs. FAMU battled until the end, but only managed three runs ending the game at 12-13, a win for FGCU.
“We fought hard, that was obvious,” says Kaycee Reese, junior third baseman “We have to keep bearing down and be ready every pitch. We took a couple plays off and that may have costed us the game but other than that we fought hard.”
Jacky Miles Jr., a redshirt senior and catcher for the FAMU Rattlers, plays catcher for all 11 innings against the Eagles for eight different pitchers.
“The toughest thing about long games like this is probably keeping my body loose and playing through some of the past injuries I’ve had,” the catcher said. “But we had 14 hits and that was a high point tonight.”
Jamey Shouppe, Head Coach for FAMU, had a lot of positive feedback from the hard fought game.
“I was pleased with the way we competed tonight. Florida Gulf Coast has a lot of experience and returning players. They are a very good baseball club. We certainly had our chances to beat them… I want us to come out tomorrow with this same intensity.”
Shouppe noted that long games like these are yet another way the team is getting prepared for conference games.
The FAMU Rattlers will face off against the FGCU Eagles Thursday at 2pm for the final game in the weekday series. This will be the last non-conference game of the season.