By Michael Morrell/Special to FAMU Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – Florida A&M (26-25, 14-10 MEAC) scored seven runs in the fifth inning on its way to an 11-6 win over Coppin State (12-34, 9-15 MEAC) in an elimination game at the MEAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon. FAMU pounded out 14 hits in the first five innings and six different Rattlers had two hits in the win. Florida A&M will face NorfolkState in another elimination at 6:00 pm.
Florida A&M starter Chase Jarrell (5-2) earned the win after giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Cameron Sims earned his first save of the season while pitching the final four innings.
The Eagles scored a quick run in the top of the first to grab a 1-0 lead. Dalton Cozart drew a lead off walk and after David Hamlett struck out, Jack Kraft singled to right to put runners on first and second. With one out, William Brown plated Cozart with an RBI single to left for the game’s first run. John Walls flew out to left and Jeffrey Fitch popped out to third in foul territory to end the inning.
FAMU answered with two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. Jared Walker led off the home half of the first with a single to left. Walker then moved to second on a groundout back to the pitcher by Robinson and came around to score as Gibbs laced a double just past the third base bag. Barlow’s single to center with two outs scored Gibbs from second to give the Rattlers the lead.
Florida A&M pushed their lead to 3-1 with a run in the second. Michael Birdsong opened the inning with a double to left. Birdsong would come home to score as Peter Jackson’s hard hit ball was misplayed by the shortstop.
The Rattlers added a run in the fourth to increase their lead to 4-1. Robinson singled up the middle with two outs and Gibbs doubled over the center fielder’s head, as he was falling down, to bring home Robinson from first.
Coppin State cut the lead in half at 4-2 with a single run in the fifth. Cozart singled to lead off the fifth and Hamlett reached on a fielder’s choice as second baseman Kendal Weeks bobbled a sharp grounder on a double play attempt. Cozart would score the lone run in the inning on Kraft’s single through the left side with no outs. The Rattlers defense stepped up to turn a 5-4-3 double play and John Walls went down on strikes to keep the damage to one run.
FAMU blew the game open with seven runs in the fifth inning with to make the score 11-2. Robinson and Hutson each had two-run singles while Weeks added an RBI single in the inning.
CSU scored four runs in the ninth for the final score of 11-6.
Coppin State starter William Grebenstein (2-6) took the loss after giving up eight runs (five earned) on 11 hits with one strikeout and two walks .
Florida A&M will face NorfolkState (21-25) in tonight’s elimination game of the MEAC Tournament at 6:00 pm.
As always, fans can follow Rattler Baseball on Twitter @FAMUAthletics and live stats will be available via www.MEACSports.com.