FAMU nips visiting Savannah State, 6-5 in final at-bat
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 10) - The Florida A&M Rattler Baseball Team scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday afternoon, to edge visiting Savannah (Ga.) State University, 6-5 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Moore-Kittles Field.
FAMU (1-15, 1-5 in MEAC) won the game when with the bases loaded and two out, Marlon Gibbs was hit by a pitch from Savannah State closer Eric Ricks, sending home Jared Walker from third with the clinching run.
Sunday's win was a redemption of sorts for the Rattlers, who led 2-0 after the second inning, and 5-1 after four complete innings, before Savannah State (11-4, 2-1 in MEAC) began chipping away at the FAMU lead, tying the game 5-5 in the seventh.
The Rattlers took that 2-0 second inning edge, when leadoff hitter Sylvester Peck was hit by a pitch, then later scored on an SSU throwing error on Garrett Johnson's grounder to second. Johnson later scored when Bryce Farrar doubled down the left field line for a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, Savannah cut the FAMU lead to 2-1, on Drew Quinney's sacrifice fly right, which plated Joseph McCrary, who reached on an error.
FAMU scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 5-1, when Pete Jackson's RBI grounder to short scored Kendall Weeks, who led off the inning with a single, for a 3-1 count. Jared Walker later singled in Reginald Grant and Garrett Johnson for a 5-1 FAMU lead.
The visiting Tigers scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to trim the Rattler lead to 5-3, before pulling even in the game with a two-run seventh inning rally.
Drew Quinney's RBI double to left scored Parker Nix, who reached base after being hit by a pitch for a 5-4 count. Peter Poole's RBI single scored pinch runner Zach Bryant to tie the game, 5-5.
In the bottom of the ninth, FAMU actually loaded the bases with none out, but a force out a home on a grounder to second, and a fly ball out to shallow right field set the stage for the dramatic ending.
Freshman Jordan Montague (1-0) got the win in relief for the Rattlers, pitching two and one-third innings of scoreless relief, scattering two hits, striking out three and walking one, while reliever Jackson May (4-1) took the loss for SSU, after working four and one third innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Jared Walker and Bryce Farrar each had two hits to lead the Rattlers' nine-hit attack. Walker also collected two RBIs, while Farrar, Gibbs and Jackson each drove in a run.
Savannah State, which finished the day with 11 hits, got two hits apiece from Darien Campbell, Mendez Elder and Joseph McCrary, with Drew Quinney picking up a pair of RBIs, followed by Poole, Campbell and Mendez who each had an RBI.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Rattlers hit the road for five games, starting Tuesday with a two-game set at Central Florida (6:30 Tuesday and 6:30 Wednesday) in Orlando, followed by a three-game weekend series at South Florida in Tampa (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). FAMU will host North Florida in t