Pristine pitching lifts FAMU over Jackson State

Ty Jackson blows bubblegum during an at-bat against Jackson State.
Photo courtesy: @a1visi0n

The mound took center stage this past weekend as the Rattlers allowed just three earned runs in a sweep of Jackson State.

Junior right-handed pitcher Caleb Granger got the party started on Thursday, throwing seven scoreless innings while allowing no walks and only two hits. Granger capped his performance with 10 strikeouts.

After an unearned RBI single in the eighth, junior Cody Williams shut the door on Jackson State, striking out three and walking none in relief.

First baseman Sebastian Greico capped off his birthday with his sixth home run of the year in the bottom of the eighth.   

Seniors Ty Jackson and Jalen Niles each had themselves a day at the plate as well, combining for five RBIs on the night. 

In total, the Rattlers scored six runs in the final three innings to extend the lead and put the game out of reach for the Tigers.

Following Thursday’s contest, Florida A&M baseball coach Jamey Shouppe lauded his team’s performance while refusing to downplay Jackson State’s accomplishments so far this season.

“Jackson State’s got a very good ball club,” Shouppe said. “They came in with a 19-5 record. We swung the bat pretty good today, but tomorrow’s[Friday] a different day.”

Shouppe also highlighted the bottom of the order and the pitching staff.

“Pitching was the key tonight,” Shouppe said. “They didn’t get any earned runs. We need to get another good start from our pitchers.”

Shouppe did.

On Friday, former Lincoln High School pitcher Carson Kelly continued his stellar freshman campaign, matching Granger’s innings on Thursday. Kelly tossed five strikeouts while only allowing one earned run and no walks.

Andrew Ginther followed up Kelly’s performance in relief, throwing two innings and allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out two. 

The Rattlers’ offense scored early and often this time around, including blowing the game open in the fourth inning with five runs. 

Greico followed up his Thursday performance, going three for five with two more RBIs on the weekend. Jackson drove in two more runs with a sacrifice fly and a walk, one of three on the day. 

The Rattlers capped off a bounce-back weekend in conference play with a dominant 11-1 win on Saturday. Redshirt junior Jacob Granger threw five innings, allowing only one earned run and two walks while striking out five. Tanner Walker threw two innings in relief, tossing two strikeouts while only allowing two walks and one earned run.

The lineup stole the show for the series finale, with three Rattlers having three-hit days at the plate. 

Janmikell Bastardo had two extra-base hits, a double and a triple.

Jakoby Stanley and True Fontenot each hit a home run. Fontenot drove in four runs on the day while Stanley nabbed another RBI on a walk-off RBI single in the seventh to run-rule Jackson State and sweep the series. 

The Rattlers travel to Gainesville on Tuesday to take on the Florida Gators at Condron Family Ballpark at 6 p.m. The Gators are currently 6-3 and sit in second in the Southeastern Conference eastern division standings.

The Rattlers will return home this weekend to face division rival Alabama State for a three-game series. 

FAMU is second in the SWAC eastern division standings behind in-state rival Bethune Cookman with a 7-2 record. The Hornets are tied for third in the division with Jackson State following a series win over Alabama A&M at home.