Tallahassee, Fl. (May 12th, 2018) – Florida A&M recognized their seniors as they wrapped up their regular season with the third of a three-game series against the Aggies of North Carolina A&T at Moore-Kittles Field. After splitting the first two games of the series, the Rattlers and Aggies came into game three with identical MEAC records of 15-8, meaning that the winner of this game would secure first place in the Southern division of the MEAC.
NC A&T got on the board first in this one. Five walks, two hit-by-pitches and an error hurt the Rattlers early, as the Aggies scored their first five runs on no hits. Milton Rivera then drove in Myles Sowell and Justin Williams to give A&T an early 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the first.
The Aggies answered with a run in the top of the fourth. Zach McLean drove in Dawnoven Smith with a sacrifice fly to center field to extend their lead to 8-1.
NC A&T extended their lead again with two runs in the fifth. Jarrett Norman singled up the middle to score Greg White and Milton Rivera to give the Aggies a 10-3 lead after four and a half innings.
The Rattlers cut into the lead again in the bottom of the fifth, as Bret Maxwell drove in Brian Davis with a single up the middle. Octavien Moyer followed with another single up the middle, driving in John Capra. William Brooks added another base hit up the middle to score Maxwell and Dallas Oliver then scored Moyer with a single through the left side to make it a 10-7 game after five.
A&T made it an 11-7 game in the top of the sixth thanks to a Greg White triple that scored Justin Williams.
The Rattlers quickly got the run back and then some as Octavien Moyer drove in John Capra with a double down the left field line. Willis McDaniel later walked with bases loaded to allow Moyer to score and Dallas Oliver drove in Kaycee Reese with a sacrifice fly. Jacky Miles followed with a single through the left side to drive in William Brooks. McDaniel then scored from third on a wild pitch to give FAMU a 12-11 lead after seven innings.
Two walks, one hit-by-pitch, and three errors hurt the Rattlers again in the top of the seventh, as NC A&T regained a 16-12 lead with five unearned runs on no hits. The Aggies then tacked on nine more runs in the eighth to make it a 25-12 game going into the bottom of the eighth.
The Rattlers did not go down quietly, scoring three runs in the bottom half. Ryan Anderson drove in Dylan Carlson with an infield single to the second baseman. Octavien Moyer later singled to the shortstop to score Hunter Fillingim and Kaycee Reese followed with a single up the middle to drive in Anderson. However, the rally would fall short as the NC A&T won by a final score of 25-15.
Josh Bottenfield earned the win for NC A&T, throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Starting pitcher Michael Johnson allowed seven runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings of work.
Josh Barr suffered the loss for the Rattlers (3-3) after allowing three unearned runs in the seventh innings. Starting pitcher Dallas Oliver’s day was cut short as he left the game in the first inning, and FAMU would go on to send a total of ten different pitchers to the mound.
The loss brings Florida A&M to a final regular season record of 24-28 on the season (15-9 MEAC). Despite the loss, the Rattlers still held on to second place in the Southern division of the MEAC and will travel to Daytona Beach this week for the MEAC Tournament.