TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Rattlers (18-15, 8-5 MEAC) picked up a big win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (21-16, 8-5 MEAC) on Friday afternoon at Moore-Kittles Field behind a strong effort from right-hander Ryan Anderson. The junior scattered six hits and allowed just one run through seven complete innings to pick up his first win of 2017.
Anderson exited in a 2-1 game, and Thomas Nicoll pitched the rest of the way to pick up his first save of the year. Nicoll was dominant, striking out three while not allowing a single baserunner through two scoreless innings to close out the game.
Bethune-Cookman opened the scoring in the top of the third inning on an RBI single by Adonis Lao. Demetrius Sims got things started with a one-out hustle double to right field. The next batter, Lao, drove in Sims from second with a sharp single to center to put Bethune out in front 1-0.
That would be all that the Wildcats bats would manage, as Anderson and Nicoll combined to hold BCU scoreless over the final six innings.
FAMU capitalized on a two-out error by the Wildcats to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Willis McDaniel was hit by a pitch to start the frame, and later advanced to second base on a wild pitch. With two outs, Octavien Moyer hit a ground ball to Jameel Edney at third, who made an errant throw to first. Willis McDaniel never stopped running on the play, rounding third and coming in to score after the ball was thrown away.
The Rattlers took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Octavien Moyer. After a leadoff single by McDaniel and a bunt single by Dallas Oliver, Kaycee Reese advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. With the infield playing in to try and cut off the go-ahead run at the plate, Moyer dropped in a single over the infielders’ heads to put FAMU out in front 2-1.
Florida A&M extended their lead in the bottom of the eighth for a final score of 3-1. Kaycee Reese singled to right field with one out, and then three FAMU batters were hit by a pitch to bring in an insurance run for the Rattlers.
Willis McDaniel and Octavien Moyer led the way at the plate. McDaniel was 1-for-3 with two runs scored on the afternoon, while Moyer finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. Kaycee Reese and Aubrey McCarty also contributed for the Rattlers. Reese was 1-for-3 with a run scored, while McCarty added his twelfth multi-hit performance of the year, finishing 2-for-4.
Bethune-Cookman starting pitcher Anthony Maldonado (5-2) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on four hits and three walks through five innings of work.
The two teams will square off in a doubleheader tomorrow at Moore-Kittles Field beginning at 1:00 PM where the Rattlers will look to take the series.
As always, fans can follow Rattler Baseball on Twitter @BaseballFAMU and on Facebook.