FAMU baseball wins series vs. Navy

Early season jitters were evident but not costly as the baseball team stole the series 2-1 against Navy.

The Rattlers (2-1) dropped their first game against Navy 2-0 on Saturday but bounced back winning the Sunday doubleheader 3-2, 7-3 respectively.

After the series, Florida A&M head coach Jamey Shouppe spoke on his team’s level of play to start off the season.

“We played very good yesterday, and we didn’t get the win, but nobody dropped their head,” Shouppe said. “Today, we played well again. The pitchers kept us in it long enough for our bats to finally wake up and get something going for us offensively.”

The Rattlers got off to a slow start Saturday in a shutout. Junior first baseman Ryan Kenney led the way with two of his team’s six hits.

Freshman right fielder Peter Jackson also added a third-inning double. Junior right fielder Marlon Gibbs, junior shortstop Ryan Hutson and sophomore pitcher Kendall Weeks all added singles.

Navy shortstop freshman Travis Blue and sophomore center fielder Robert Currie had two hits each to spark the Midshipmen’s attack. Junior second baseman Brad Borosak belted a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to give Navy the margin of victory.

In Sunday’s two matchups, the bats started to warm up for FAMU.

In the first game, junior third baseman Michael Birdsong was able to get on base twice, setting up senior designated hitter Bennie Robinson, who hit a two-shot homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game at two apiece.

With the game going into extras innings, Gibbs hit the game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the 10th.

In the final game of the series, FAMU took control early as Kennedy hit a two-run homer, and Birdsong hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-1 lead.

Junior center fielder Blake Quillin picked up an RBI on a pop fly to right in the bottom of the fifth inning to give FAMU a 4-3 lead.

Kennedy also added a 2-run triple in the sixth inning while junior shortstop Ryan Hutson hit an RBI double to give the Rattlers a 7-3 edge.

Weeks came up big closing out both games, allowing only two hits in six innings to help clinch the Rattlers’ wins.

“We’ve been prepared very well by our coaches,” Weeks said. “I missed my spots a couple times, but I just tried to stay focused and complete the task at hand.”

Robinson likes what he’s seeing from the team, but thinks there is always room for improvement.

“I feel like everybody is buying in,” Robinson said. “We are competing at a high level and everyone is focused. We feel good as a team right now.”

The Rattlers will return to Moore-Kittles Field on Saturday and Sunday as they take on Jackson State.