Rattlers, Tigers break even

The baseball team split a doubleheader Wednesday against Savannah State University at Moore-Kittles Field.

In the first game, FAMU held a 5-2 lead going into the sixth inning. That’s when the Tigers offense came alive.

In the sixth inning, the Tigers collected five of nine total hits and scored five runs to take a 7-5 advantage. The Rattlers were unable to overcome the deficit, in turn, dropping the opening game.

“We had a nice lead, but they started swinging their bats in the sixth inning and we could not put them away. We got to learn how to close games out when we have the chance,” said FAMU head coach Joe Durant.

The second game began as if the Tigers (21-16) were going to continue their offensive terror against the Rattlers. But The Rattlers quickly responded.

In the top of the first inning with a runner on base, Savannah State’s Barry Mincy hit a home run over the right field wall to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first inning with infielder Nick Parker on third, catcher Patrick Pinkerton singled to score Parker to close the score, 2-1.

When it seemed as if the Rattlers were coming out of shock from losing the first game, Mincy came calling again. In the top of the third inning, with a runner on base, Mincy hit another home run, this time to left-center field, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

Scoring was quiet for a while until FAMU outfielder Kelvin Clethan walked to get on base and in turn scored on a Tiger, closing the gap to 4-2.

Continuing in the sixth inning, with a runner on base Rattler Virgil Priestly homered to right center field, tying the game at 4-4. Priestly went 4-7 with a home run and two RBI’s in the doubleheader

“Our team definitely needed the homer and I was really focused,” said Priestly, 21, a junior from Miami. “I’m just thankful that I could provide the spark that we needed.”

Neither team was able to generate any runs in the seventh inning sending the game into an extra inning. The Tigers failed to produce a run in the top of the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Tiger pitcher Carlos Markyna walked Pinkerton scoring Parker to give FAMU a 5-4 victory.

“They hit their way back into the game, like we did in the first game,” said Savannah State head coach Jamie Rigdon. “I think we played good defense, but we didn’t get it done when we had to.”

contact ryan boyd at ryan1boyd04@aol.com.