Tallahassee, Fl. (March 6th, 2018) – Florida A&M played host to the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University in the first of a two-game midweek non-conference series. The Rattlers came into the game hungry for a win after a tough series against Brown University.
Florida Gulf Coast got an early 2-0 lead thanks to a homerun by Kohl Gilmore that scored Gage Morey, who reached on a double down the left field line.
Florida A&M answered quickly in the bottom of the first with six runs of their own on three hits and four FGCU errors. Brian Davis drove in Jordan Curtis on a sacrifice fly after Curtis led off the inning with a single through the left side. Willis McDaniel then drove in John Capra on another sacrifice fly, and would actually reach base on an error by the center fielder. Octavien Moyer kept the inning going with a double down the left field line, scoring both Willis McDaniel and Dallas Oliver. Kaycee Reese would then reach base on another error by FGCU, scoring Octavien Moyer. Reese then scored on a Bret Maxwell single before the Eagles ended the inning, making the score 6-2.
The Rattlers’ lead wouldn’t last for long, as FGCU scored four runs in the top of the second inning to tie up the game. Christian Proffitt reached base on an error, scoring Eli Lovell, who singled to lead off the inning. Jake Smith, who also singled in the inning, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Gage Morey. Rich Garcia followed up by driving in Marc Coffers and Christian Proffitt with a base hit up the middle.
After both teams seemed to settle down defensively, the Eagles added another run in the fifth inning, with Jay Hayes scoring on a passed ball after leading off the inning with a single to left field.
Florida A&M got the run back in the bottom of the fifth. Willis McDaniel led of the inning with a double down the right field line. McDaniel was then driven in by a Kaycee Reese single, tying up the game at seven runs a piece.
The Rattlers would go on to take the lead in the seventh inning. Willis McDaniel tripled to dead center field to lead off the inning. A fielder’s choice ground ball by Octavien Moyer drove in McDaniel to give the Rattlers a one run lead. Moyer later scored on a bunt single by Brett Maxwell to extend the lead to 9-7 after seven innings of play.
Florida Gulf Coast regained the lead in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs of their own. After a Marc Coffers walk and a Gage Morey double, Richie Garcia singled to left field to drive both runs in, tying the game at 9-9.
Nine innings was not enough to decide the winner of this game, as the game went eleven innings. Both teams were held scoreless in the ninth and tenth innings, but the Eagles got back on the board in the top of the eleventh inning. Gage Morey scored the first run of the inning on an error before Jay Hayes drove in Richie Garcia and Cameron Krzeminski on a single to right. Christian Proffitt drove in Eli Lovell on a sacrifice fly to make it a 13-9 game going into the bottom of the inning.
FAMU would not go down quietly. Jacky Miles led off the bottom of the eleventh with a single to third base before Ty Russ entered the game as a pinch runner. Cameron Johnson drove in Russ on a single to center field. John Capra later drove in pinch runner Malachi Mitchell and Kaycee Reese on an infield single to the second baseman. However, the Rattlers’ rally came up short and Florida Gulf Coast held on to win by a final score of 13-12.
Kenton Hering earned the win for the Eagles, throwing the final 2.2 innings of the game, while Chris Clark got the loss for the Rattlers, giving up an earned run through a third of an inning. Florida Gulf Coast sent four different pitchers to the mound over the course of the game. Florida A&M went deep into their bullpen, sending a total of seven different pitchers to the mound.
FAMU looks to split the series with FGCU on Wednesday, March 7th, at 2:00 PM at Moore-Kittles Field.