A defensive display

Dallas Oliver on the mound for the Rattlers against Brown University in March.
Sydney Vigille | The FAMUAN

Coach Jamey Shouppe and the Men's Baseball team finished off their fall 2018 schedule with a bang in a 4-2 victory over Coastal Alabama.

After an hour delay, the Rattlers kicked off the game with an impressive display of pitching and defense. RHP Josh Wilson began the game with a subtle three up three down which showcased his pitching speed but also his ability to dish out variety and keep his batters guessing.

It wasn’t until the 2nd inning that the Rattlers got on the board. The Rattlers had to show the Sun Chiefs that they are not just strong hitters but technical hitters. The Rattlers led off the inning with a walk, a bunt and a sacrifice bunt by catcher Javon Byrd that moved runners into scoring position at second and third. It was inevitably a wild pitch that brought in both runners to give the Rattlers a 2-0 lead heading into the third.

Throughout the entire game the rattlers despite some early hiccups in the infield, their defense was spot on the whole game. Third basemen Kaycee Reese was the bright star through the first four innings with several highlight plays from shallow and deep that showcased his speed and throwing ability from the hot corner.

Coastal Alabama, however, fought back at the top of the 4th. With runners in scoring position infielder, Calvin Butler sent a shot straight to center to bring in two runners and tie the game at two apiece.

It seems Byrd did not like that the Eagles tied up the game so swiftly. At the bottom of the fourth with a light breeze, it seemed the lights were shining that much harder as if to get us ready for a highlight. Byrd got a fastball in the zone slightly in the right corner on the butt of the bat. That pitch allowed Byrd to send an absolute rocket into center field to break the tie and give the Rattlers the lead.

As the Rattlers continued their impressive defensive display, the Eagles couldn’t seem to find a groove. To the rattlers pleasure, it was again a wild pitch in the 7th that brought in another runner and gave FAMU a two-run lead.

As the game winded down in the final innings, as fans started to pack their chairs and umbrellas center fielder, Willis McDaniel woke up the fans at Moore-Kittles field. McDaniel stunned fans as he covered amazing ground and put it all on the field in the 8th with an unbelievable diving catch to save an extra base hit.

The Men’s Baseball Team will continue their season in the spring after concluding their Fall 2018 schedule with an impressive victory over a non-conference opponent. The Rattlers hope to bounce back big this year after a disappointing run in the MEAC championship last season.