The Florida A&M Rattlers baseball team suited up to play their rival the Bethune Cookman Wildcats in a 3-game series taking place at Moore-Kittles Field. This game was a must see and it ended with the rattlers on top.
Kyle Coleman started off pitching at the mound for the rattlers. But Tucker Rayburn got the rattlers up early by hitting a 2-run home run at the bottom of the first. On the other side of the ball, Anthony Maldonado pitched for wildcats and he was letting the ball rip.
“They threw a very good pitcher at us tonight, a guy that’s going to be drafted and he kind of held us in check a little bit. We had some good at-bats early and we got out ourselves a little bit,” said Head Coach Jamey Shouppe.
In the 3rd inning, Willis McDaniel hit a rbi double down the baseline to set up his teammate Chris Jerry to score. But the wildcats answered back as Brady Van Hook finished it with a rbi single to tie the game at two apiece.
Coach Shouppe decided to take a different approach as he changed pitchers from Kyle Coleman to redshirt Sophomore Morgan Mendez midway through the 7th inning. And, Mendez did not disappoint, he stepped up when his team needed him more than ever. The wildcats took the lead at top of the 7th inning 5-4, but the rattlers continued to strike back.
“He was noddy pitches, he was noddy plus pitches. His pitch count was up they were going through the lineup for the fourth time and he did what he could to keep us in the ball game, he did a good job as well.” Shouppe said, “Mendez did an outstanding job coming in and throwing like he did for 3 innings.”
Malachi Mitchell Outfielder hit a sacrifice fly to bring his teammate Seyjuan Lawrence in to tie the game at 5 apiece in the bottom of the 9th. The rattlers held on to take the game to a 10th inning. The wildcats changed pitchers for the 3rd time, this time it was freshman Seth Lovell and once again the rattlers capitalized.
Seyjuan Lawrence delivered the final strike. Lawrence stepped up to the plate with the rattlers having 2 outs, he hit a walk-off rbi single that sent Octavien Moyer to home plate. And the rattlers won the ball game 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning.
“Very excited down one in the 9th to come through with a gut, Malachi Mitchell had a great at-bat and sacrificed a fly to the right field and scored the run to tie it up,” said Coach Shouppe.
“Oh, I definitely wanted in my brother is on the team, so he was talking a lot of trash, I feel like this was my game.” Morgan Mendez said, “I like the intensity we just showed right here so we’re going into tomorrow and I feel like we’ll come with same intensity and probably get both dubs.”
“As for me personally I was down a little bit I kept striking out. I just found my way kept trying to battle every single one at-bat until something happened. Anything can happen in this game.” Seyjuan Lawrence said.
As the rattlers end this game they will move on to a 3-game series against Savannah State on April 18th.