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Rattler Baseballers Open MEAC Tourney Wednesday
By: Florida A&M Sports Information  
Release:05/14/2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 14) – The Florida A&M Baseball team will open its’ bid for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament title here Wednesday against Delaware State at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First pitch is slated for 12 noon.

FAMU (22-31) comes in as the No. 2 seed from the Southern Division, facing off against the Northern Division’s No. 3 seed, Delaware State (18-23).

The Rattlers are vying for their eighth (8th) MEAC Tournament title since 1987, and their first since 2015, the second season under current head coach Jamey Shouppe.

FAMU comes into the tourney having won 11 of their last 13 conference games, a surge which took them from a fourth place tie (at 5-7) to second place (14-10).

THE REST OF THE TOURNAMENT SLATE

Two other games are on tap for the first day of action, as Northern No. 2 Coppin (Md.) State, will face Southern No. 3 Savannah (Ga.) State in Game Two at 3:30 p.m.

Savannah State will be playing their final games as a member of NCAA Division One in the tournament. The Tigers will transition to Division Two this summer, rejoining the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).

Wednesday’s Game Three will be an elimination game, as the losing teams from the first two games will battle to stay alive at 7:00 p.m.

 

Overall, the MEAC Baseball Tournament features a six-team field with the top three finishers from each division advancing to the event.

The two division winners – Norfolk (Va.) State from the Northern, and defending overall champion North Carolina A&T from the Southern, receive opening round byes and will not play until Thursday, against the winners of Wednesday’s games.

A FAMU win would send them to the 3:30 p.m. game Thursday against Norfolk State, while North Carolina A&T would face the Coppin State-Savannah State winner in the 12 noon opener.

Saturday’s championship round begins at 1:00 p.m., with a second and deciding game, if needed slated to start at 5:00 p.m. The winner will earn an automatic NCAA Regional berth.

 

RATTLER BASEBALL REVIEW & PREVIEW

ROLLER COASTER SEASON: The 2019 season has been a one of fits and starts through 54 games, with the Rattlers opening the season 0-6, before winning six of their next 12 games, then winning four straight and five of the next six, before a seven-game slide….

 

That last slide came during the first half of MEAC Southern Division play, sinking the Rattlers into a fourth place tie at 5-7…. FAMU then regrouped in league play, winning 11 of their final 14 conference games to surge into contention for the division crown with North Carolina A&T….

 

FAMU won the opening game of their season finale series with A&T, 9-7, to pull into a tie for first, but last Saturday’s doubleheader foiled their title hopes as they dropped a 5-4 decision in the first game, before suffering a 9-2 setback in the finale… In keeping with the roller coaster theme, while the Rattlers were resurgent in conference play, they were 8-21 outside the league, dropping their final six non-conference bouts…

 

Crucial in the Rattlers struggle to win games came at the plate, with 417 strikeouts and 477 runners left on base (8.8 per game).

 

YOUNG GUNS IMPACT: Several fresh faces have cracked the Rattler lineup and made immediate impacts in 2019… Freshman left fielder Seyjuan Lawrence (.295, 40 runs, 57 hits, 12 doubles, one HR, 23 RBIs, 10 of 11 SBs), began the year in the leadoff spot, but moved to the middle of the order at midyear…. Fellow freshman Jared Weber (.270), a two-time MEAC Rookie of the Week, tops the club in RBIs (44), is 10 for 10 in stolen bases, ranks third in hits (55), and fourth in runs scored (33), to go with 11 doubles, two (2) triples and a home run…. JUCO Transfer Tucker Rayburn (.276), has enjoyed a bit of a power surge of late, with 16 extra base hits (9 double, 3 triples, 4 HRs), 27 RBIs, with a .422 slugging percentage, second on the team….

 

VETERANS IN THE MIX TOO: Several veterans are in the mix sparking the Rattlers, led by junior second baseman Octavien Moyer (.322), with team highs in runs (42), and hits (65), with 12 doubles, a triple and six HRs, 21 RBI and team-best .480 slugging percentage (97 total bases); senior centerfielder Willis McDaniel (.257), 47 hits, 34 runs, 10 doubles, two triples, two homers, 26 RBIs and eight stolen bases;  senior catcher Brett Maxwell (.241, 10 doubles, one triple, 28 RBIs), senior third baseman Kaycee Reese (.259, seven doubles, two homers, 25 RBI).

 

PITCHING TRENDING UP: The Rattlers under Jamey Shouppe have always emphasized pitching, and the focus on relief work has been key to some of the successes FAMU has enjoyed…. Texan closer Jeremiah McCollum (4-2, 3.51 ERA in 22 appearances, has logged 11 saves, 24 Ks in 25 innings…. Sophomore Morgan Melendez, a middle relief ace is 4-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 innings, with 47 strikeouts….  FAMU starters have begun to find their groove a bit as the season hit the latter half….  Kyle Coleman (4-5, 3.51 ERA, 61Ks in 77 innings), Josh Hancock (5-5, 4.48 ERA, 49Ks in 80.1 innings) and Josh Barr (1-5, 5.05, 35Ks in 71.1 innings) are the lead men, with Josh Wilson (2-4, 20Ks in 41 innings), Jamie Grant (2-2, 30 appearances, 38.0 and 19 Ks), and Chris Clark (23 appearance, 19 Ks in 23 innings) the middle relief men.

 

2019 MEAC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Wednesday, May 15 through Saturday, May 18, 2019

Jackie Robinson Stadium * Daytona Beach, Florida

 

Wednesday, May 15

Game 1, 12 p.m.

South No. 2 Florida A&M vs. North No. 3 Delaware State

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 2, 3:30 p.m.

North No. 2 Coppin State vs. South No. 3 Savannah State

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 3, 7 p.m.

Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap


Thursday, May 16

Game 4, 12 p.m.

Winner Game 2 vs. South No. 1 North Carolina A&T State

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 5, 3:30 p.m.

Winner Game 1 vs. North No. 1 Norfolk State

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 6, 7 p.m.

Winner Game 3 vs. Lower Seed Loser of Game 4/5

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap


Friday, May 17

Game 7, 12 p.m.

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 8, 3:30 p.m.

Winner Game 6 vs. Higher Seed Loser of Game 4/5

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 9, 7 p.m.

Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap


Saturday, May 18 -- CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -- LIVE ON FLOLIVE

Game 10, 1 p.m.

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

Game 11, 5 p.m.

if necessary

Live Stats | Box Score | Recap

 



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