SALISBURY, MD. – The 2017 baseball season ended for Florida A&M (27-26) on Thursday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium as they dropped an elimination game 7-4 to Delaware State (21-24). The Hornets rallied to score five runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, which proved to be the difference.
A day after pounding out 12 runs on 13 hits in route to a run-rule victory against the Hornets, FAMU managed just four runs on five hits in the contest.
The Rattlers took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Dallas Oliver worked a leadoff walk and Garrett Wilkinson singled through the right side before Aubrey McCarty plated Oliver from third with a fielder's choice.
After two walks and a bunt single loaded the bases for the Hornets with no outs in the bottom of the first, Ciaran Devenney plated a run with a sacrifice fly to right, tying the game at 1-1.
Kodi Russ put the Rattlers back in front in the top of the second with a solo home run to left field.
Delaware State strung together six hits in the game-deciding fourth inning and scored five runs with two outs to take a 6-2 lead.
The Hornets extended their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning after a leadoff walk came around to score on an RBI single by Evan Regez.
McCarty trimmed the deficit to 7-4 in the top of the seventh with a two-out, two-run single to center field after the Rattlers loaded the bases with three walks.
That proved to be the final, as Florida A&M was held scoreless over the final two innings.
Hunter Fillingim pitched well in relief for the Rattlers, allowing no runs with a career high seven strikeouts through 3.2 innings.
JoJo Durden (2-7) took the loss for FAMU after allowing six runs on eight hits through 4.0 innings.
Dallas Oliver extended his hitting streak to 21 games on the night after going 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored.
Garrett Lawson (6-4) picked up the win for Delaware State after striking out a season-best nine batters and allowing four runs through 6.2 innings, while Darrien Ragins picked up his MEAC-best 11th save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth.
As always, fans can follow Florida A&M Baseball on Twitter @BaseballFAMU and on Facebook.