By Michael Morrell/Special to FAMU Athletics
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After letting the lead slip away in the ninth, Kendal Weeks’ RBI double in the 10th inning lifted Florida A&M (23-24, 13-10 MEAC) to a 5-4 win over Jacksonville (15-29, 8-12 A-SUN) on Wednesday at John Sessions Field. The win is a season-high fourth straight victory for the Rattlers and 10th straight win in games decided by one run.
JU took a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Alex Seifert led off the third with a single to center. Seifert would advance to third after a sac bunt from Garret Ruckel and a groundout by Cameron Gibson. Michael Babb’s RBI double down the right line plated Seifert for the early lead.
The Rattlers took their first lead at 2-0 in the fifth inning on Barlow’s two-run single. Walker led off the top of the fifth with double down the left line and Robinson reached on a throwing error by Dolphin shortstop Scott Schaub. Marlon Gibbs tried to lay down a sac bunt to advance the runners, but popped it up back to the pitcher for the first out. Walker and Robinson pulled off the double steal and Barlow then slapped the go-ahead single into right field to give FAMU their first lead of the game.
Robinson’s RBI single in the sixth pushed the FAMU lead to 3-1.
Florida A&M added a run in the top of the ninth to increase its lead to 4-1. Walker recorded his second double of the game to lead off the ninth and then moved to third on a wild pitch. Walker would score the fourth run of the game on a grounder to third by Gibbs.
The FAMU lead didn’t last as the Dolphins tied the game at 4-4 after scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Gibson’s RBI single scored Dylan Dillard from second and Babb’s two-run double into the right-center gap scored Ruckel and Gibson to tie the game.
Florida A&M took the lead for good at 5-4 on Weeks’ RBI double in the top of the 10th inning. Logan Seymour pinch hit for designated hitter Michael Birdsong and led off with a walk. After Ryan Hutson popped up to short, Weeks crushed a double off the wall in right to bring home Seymour all the way from first in what proved to be the game winner.
Jacksonville reliever Andrew Ciacio (0-4), in his first career appearance, took the loss after giving up two runs on two hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.
The Rattlers close out the regular season at home on Saturday with a single game against North Carolina Central. The game is a make up game that was rained out back on March 23. First pitch at Moore-Kittles Field is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
As always, fans can follow Rattler Baseball on Twitter @FAMUAthletics and live stats will be available via www.FAMUAthletics.com.