On March 30, the Florida A&M Rattlers faced off against the North Carolina Central Eagles in a defensive impasse on Friday at Moore-Kittles Field.
With the opening inning going scoreless, FAMU notched the initial point of the contest in the second inning. Adding two unanswered runs in the third inning, FAMU seemed to be rolling as they were in control 3-0 going into the fourth.
It became obvious that this game would be a defensive showdown when both teams were going scoreless in the fourth inning.
NCCU finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, making the score 3-1 but failed to show any offensive consistency.
FAMU’s senior pitcher, Ryan Anderson, played a colossal role in NCCU’s offensive struggles. Playing 7.1 innings, Anderson posted a line of six hits, two runs, and one earned run. Despite Anderson’s ERA of 5.05, the eye test told another story. NCCU had trouble figuring out Anderson’s timing which resulted in a lot of foul balls or pop flies that were easily caught for outs.
FAMU scored one final time in the seventh inning and gave up their last point in the eighth, before pulling the game out at 4-2.
Anderson agreed that today’s victory was a credit to their defense.
“We battled hard at the plate, we threw strikes, and our defense made plays. That’s what counted today,” said Anderson.
Jacky Miles Jr., a redshirt senior and catcher for FAMU, played all 11 innings against the Eagles matching him up with three pitchers.
“Today I feel like pitching did it for us, to get over seven innings out of R.A and our relievers came in and closed it up,” said the senior catcher.
“Tomorrow we need to come out and do the same thing, pitch and hit a little bit better and we should be able to take the W’s,” continued Anderson referring to the wins.
Jamey Shouppe, head coach for the Rattlers, was impressed with play at pitcher and the overall defensive effort but admitted some mental errors needed to be eradicated on offense.
“It all started with pitching, R.A came in and set the tempo right off the get-go. Jamie Grant did his job then Dylon came in and did his job also,” said the head coach.
“We got to do a better job of executing the mental mistakes. One time we had a missed signal and a couple of times we just didn’t put the ball in play like we needed to. We missed too many opportunities in this game to score a few more runs and make this ball-game a little less interesting.”
Though FAMU’s defense played a dominating game, their offensive mental mistakes are what Shouppe will be stressing to his team going into Saturday's Game as they face off against NCCU for the second time in as many days.