Rattlers Begin Weekend Series with two victories over North Carolina A&T

Courtesy of FAMU Athletics

Rattlers win both games in the MEAC Conference series against North Carolina A&T at Moore-Kittles Field Saturday. 

The 5–foot-6, 160-pound junior Infielder, Alec Wong, hit a home run giving the Rattlers a 4-3 lead at the bottom of the 4th inning.

Wong excitedly gave acumen on what led to his first home run of the season.

“I saw the ball line up and I went for the opportunity to get a run which ended up being a home-run,” said Wong.

Hitting went well for the Rattlers with Wong’s home run being the catalyst that set the tone. Michael Birdsong then hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth expanding the lead to 6-3.

Birdsong feels that the opposing pitcher was throwing errand pitches, and capitalizing on them was a must.

“The pitcher was lining the ball up well for us. I had to take advantage of it. We had another man on base so I brought him home and that put us up two points,” said Birdsong.

The momentum slowed down due to a double down the third base line at the top of the sixth, the Rattlers made a pitching change, from Chase Jarrell to Alex Carrasco.

Carrasco immediately had a balk, which brought a run in for the Aggies. Also, the first baseman, Michael Birdsong had an error [E6].

As a result from the errors the Rattlers made, the Aggies tied the game up 6-6 at the bottom of the sixth.

The momentum in the game was constantly changing. The Aggies made an error that resulted in Michael Birdsong stealing second base as well as scoring making the score 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning. 

The Rattlers had three runs, [Gibbs, Wong and Seymour] making the lead 10-7 in the top of the ninth with no errors. The first game of the series ended in the top of the ninth, 10-7 Rattlers.

Head Coach Jamey Shouppe believes that the team played mediocre, but did enough to secure the victory. 

"I don't think we played good baseball this game but we managed to get the win,” said Shouppe. 


Game two of the series

The start of game two in the series went a different route from game one starting off a little slower. The first two innings, both teams had to find their momentum.

The 6-foot-3, 205 pound senior Infielder, Ryan Kennedy hit a two-run homer bringing Marlon Gibbs in to take the lead making the score 2-1 at the bottom of the third.

The Rattlers played great defense being able to hold the Aggies to zero runs in the top of the fifth to keep the lead to 2-1.

Head coach Jamey Shouppe made a pitching change at the top of the sixth inning putting in Marcus Robinson to lead the Rattlers. Only one run was allowed and they went into the bottom of the seventh with a tied 2-2.

Alec Wong won the game with his second home-run of the season making the final score 3-2.

Wong gave some insight on his game-winning home run to extend the series lead.

“When I hit the last one for this game I was just thinking about hitting the ball high enough to get it out there,” said Wong. “I knew it was high enough for me to get on base but I ended up getting my second home-run and the game winner.”

Alec Wong was the MVP of the two-game series, leaving an impression on everyone.

Coach Shouppe was proud of Wong’s performance because he feels that Wong earned it.

“Alec Wong was the story for today. He is a very fierce competitor so don’t let the size fool you. He played almost flawless and I am very proud of him,” said Shouppe. “I’m happy he had a good game because he deserves it.”

Rattlers will be back tomorrow at Moore-Kittles field at 1 p.m. for game three of the series against North Carolina A&T.