Down 14-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Rattlers were able to rally their way back for a striking 15-14 victory Thursday afternoon against Alabama State.
It was the FAMU baseball team’s fifth straight win.
The comeback against their non-conference rival began in the fifth inning when Jared Weber and Evan Johnson reached base. Centerfielder Seyjuan Lawrence got a base hit up the middle, driving in Weber. Cirr-Nicholas Bohannon followed with a double driving in Lawrence and Johnson, making it only a six-run gap.
“Before I went to the plate I was talking to my coach and I was thinking to myself, ‘Work straight up the middle,’” said Seyjuan Lawrence, graduate student centerfielder for FAMU. “High fastball. I mean I could’ve hit it, but I took it. I wanted a better understanding of how hard he threw. The next pitch he threw me was an outside middle fastball and boom, I hit it the other way. Just so happened that I scored two runs and that started the rally.”
During the eighth inning the Rattlers gained most of their momentum. Unable to throw strikes the ASU pitching staff went through 10 batters, bringing FAMU within five runs, Miles Watson hit a single to left field. This was followed by double walks and Lawrence coming in clutch again with another single. Reaching the bottom of the eighth inning the Rattlers were down 14-11.
“When I came into the game the score was 12-6 and I was expecting to just do my best and compete,” said Jeremiah McCollum, a junior right handed pitcher. “In all honesty it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen at a baseball game. Seeing eight walks in a row is something that you don’t see often in a game. Coming back from a nine run deficient is unbelievable and historic.”
The last comeback that came close to this game was in 2017 when the Rattlers came back from a 12-3 ninth inning deficit to beat East Tennessee State 13-12. Beating ASU allowed the Rattlers to continue their win streak, which is now at five games.
FAMU swept North Carolina A&T this past weekend to remain undefeated in the MEAC. The team was expected to travel this coming weekend, although due to seven players testing positive for COVID-19 on North Carolina Central’s team the series has been postponed.
The Rattlers are scheduled to play the Florida Gators on April 7.