Tallahassee, Fl. (March 27th, 2018) – The Rattlers split their two-game set with the Bears of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia back in February. Florida A&M played host to the Bears on Tuesday, looking to win the season series.
Mercer jumped on the board first in the top of the second inning. Sean McDermott grounded out to short to drive in Jackson Ware, who singled earlier in the inning. Kyle Dockus followed up with an RBI single of his own, scoring David Posas, who also reached on a single. Dockus would later score on a single to center field by Alex Hanson, giving Mercer a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the second inning.
The Bears added to their lead in the top of the third. A homerun to left by Jackson Ware drove in Trey Truitt to make it a 5-0 game in favor of Mercer.
They would tack on five more in the fourth. After leading off the inning with a single, Alex Hanson scored on another two-run homerun to left, this one by RJ Yeager. Jackson Ware later drove in his third run of the game with a ground ball to shortstop that scored JT Thomas. Trey Truitt, who reached on an error, then scored on a passed ball. Sean McDermott singled to left field to drive in David Posas before the Rattlers finally put the inning to an end, trailing by a score of 10-0.
Mercer quickly answered with two more runs in the fifth. RJ Yeager hit his second homerun of the day, driving in Alex Hanson to give the Bears a 12-1 lead.
The Rattlers would again shorten the lead in the sixth inning. John Capra drove in his second run of the day with a base hit to left field that scored Eric Blanc, making the Rattlers deficit 12-2 after six innings.
Jackson Ware continued to produce runs for the Bears in the seventh, driving in RJ Yeager with an infield hit to give Mercer a 13-2 lead.
Florida A&M answered in the bottom of the seventh inning. Octavien Moyer singled to left field and would later score on a sacrifice fly by Kodi Russ. Malachi Mitchell then singled to score Ty Russ, who also reached on a base hit, making it a 13-4 game.
Mercer held on to win by a final score of 13-4. Austin Lord got the win for the Bears, throwing 1 inning of scoreless relief. Starting pitcher Zach Graveno allowed one earned run through 4 innings in a no-decision. Ben Brock, Taylor Lobus, Carter Varga, and Caleb Mitchell each also threw an inning of relief.
Starting pitcher Josh Wilson suffered his first loss of the season for the Rattlers after giving up three earned runs in 2 innings of work. Pedro de los Rios entered the game in the third and threw two frames before giving way to William Walter. Jeremiah McCollum tossed a scoreless, hitless sixth inning, while Deven Shulstad and Chandellor Benton combined to complete the seventh. Dylan Carlson and Jamie Grant each threw a scoreless inning a piece.
The loss drops Florida A&M to 11-17 on the year. However, the Rattlers are still 4-2 in MEAC play, and will look to improve their record this Friday at 1:00 PM at Moore-Kittles Field, as they host North Carolina Central University.