TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ben Ellzey blasted two home runs as the Rattlers (14-5, 5-1 MEAC) completed the series sweep of the Savannah State Tigers (9-11, 0-3 MEAC) by a score of 15-6 on Sunday afternoon at Moore-Kittles Field.
Just a triple shy of the cycle, the senior had his best offensive game of the season as he finished 4-for-6 with two home runs, a double, five RBI and three runs scored.
The FAMU offense erupted early on Sunday afternoon as the Rattlers scored 14 runs in the first four innings and put the game out of reach from the early going.
After Savannah State scored one run in the top of the first inning, Florida A&M answered back with five runs in the bottom half to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
The Rattlers sent nine hitters to the plate in the inning. John Capra led off with a four-pitch walk, and with one out Ben Ellzey crushed a no-doubter to left, his second home run of the season, to give FAMU a 2-1 advantage. The Rattlers then loaded the bases on walks by Aubrey McCarty and Dallas Oliver and a single by Willis McDaniel. Ty Russ drove in two runs on his single through the left side, then Russell Rauh hit a ground ball to second to score Oliver from third for the final run of the inning.
FAMU extended their lead to 8-1 on McCarty’s three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning.
Ty Russ led off with his second single of the day, then Kaycee Reese walked with one out, placing runners on first and second for Capra, who doubled down the left field line, scoring Russ from second. Davis’ sacrifice fly to center field scored Reese from third, extending the Florida A&M lead to 10-1.
Savannah State scored a single run in the top of the fourth to make the score 10-2.
The Rattlers answered in the bottom frame, scoring multiple runs for the fourth straight inning to start the game.
Dallas Oliver was hit by a pitch to start the inning, the Russell Rauh singled through the right side with one out. Kaycee Reese worked a walk to load the bases for Capra who reached on an error by the second baseman that allowed Oliver to score from third. Brian Davis then walked with the bases loaded for the second run, and Ellzey singled to center field, scoring Reese and Capra, pushing the FAMU lead to 14-2.
The Tigers avoided the run-rule as they scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning off freshman reliever Dylan Carlson to make the score 14-6.
Ellzey’s second home run of the day in the bottom of the eighth capped off the scoring at 15-6.
Florida A&M starting pitcher Aubrey McCarty (2-1) scattered eight hits and two runs in five innings and set a career high with seven strikeouts to earn the win. McCarty also had a great day at the plate finishing 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, two runs scored, and two walks.
Jamie Grant was great in relief once again as he worked 2.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.92 on the season.
The Rattlers collected a total of 15 hits on the afternoon. It was the twelfth game this season that FAMU has had double digit hits, and they are now 9-3 in those contests.
Savannah State starting pitcher Alec Kliphouse (2-1) suffered the loss, pitching only one third of an inning, allowing five earned runs and six of the first seven batters he faced to reach base before being lifted.
Florida A&M travels to Mercer for a midweek series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday’s game will begin at 6:00 PM while Wednesday’s game is schedule for 4:00 PM. The Rattlers next home game is on Wednesday, March 29 against Alabama State.
As always, fans can follow Rattler Baseball on Twitter @BaseballFAMU and on Facebook.