Rattlers sweep Eagles in series

The FAMU baseball team completed a weekend series sweep over the Coppin State College Eagles Sunday, with a 7-6 victory at Moore-Kittles Field.

The Rattlers (17-21,7-2) were victorious in the third and final game against the Eagles (9-20,4-5).

Senior pitcher Mike Connell held the Eagles at bay through five innings while the Rattler bats were at work. Sophomore left-fielder Stanley Knat doubled and later scored on an error. Freshman shortstop Brian Braxton also had an RBI single in the bottom of the first.

In the third inning, senior Todd Rodman scored on one of the Eagles four errors, making the score 5-1.

In the sixth inning, Eagle shortstop Graham Johnson singled to center field, knocking in first baseman Brian Bullock and narrowing the lead to 5-3.

Rattler shortstop Brian Braxton hit an RBI single in the sixth inning, pushing the lead to 6-3.

The Rattlers escaped the seventh inning with a 6-5 lead, despite giving up a two RBI double by third basemen Eddie Wilson.

In a dramatic finish, Pinkerton struggled early, walking his first batter. The ensuing batter left-fielder Nick Wenger hit a RBI double to center field tying the game 6-6.

All would end well for the Rattlers however, when a single was hit to left field by third baseman Justin Riggs.

Knat fielded the ball beautifully and came up firing the ball to Chris Branning at catcher, who positioned himself for the collision involving Wenger at the plate for the out. “I knew it was important for us to keep the game tied, so I gave it my all, it was instinctive,” Knat said after the game.

With newfound momentum, Pinkerton struck out the next batter for the third and final out.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Rattlers proved to be too much for the Eagles and freshmen relief pitcher Alex Hangland.

Braxton opened the inning with a leadoff single to center. After a sacrifice bunt by Pinkerton advanced pinch runner David Hampton to second, right-fielder Todd Rodman walked.

A wild pitch advanced both runners setting the stage for senior second baseman Nick Parkers’ game winning single to center.

“I got behind 0-2 on some questionable calls by the ump,” Parker said. ” I was able to foul a couple off until he finally gave me the pitch I wanted,” he added.

The game finished a series, in which FAMU outscored the Eagles 36-17.

“Saturday was by far tougher than today,” commented Eagles’ head coach Guy Robertson after the game.

“They get good leads and keep them. This gives us an idea on how we measure-up against the top teams in the conference.”

The Rattlers will be back on the diamond Saturday, at Delaware State at 1 p.m.

contact Troy Weatherspoon at tspoon20@tmail.com.