TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Mar. 1) – The Florida A&M Rattlers won the opening game of their three-game weekend series with visiting Jackson (Miss.) State in thrilling fashion, 7-6 at Moore-Kittles Field Friday evening.
Friday’s game, delayed an hour due to heavy rains that swept through the area in the morning, and again in the afternoon, seemed to be in the bag for the Rattlers (3-9), who rode the deft pitching of starter Kyle Coleman through seven sparkling innings.
At one stretch, Coleman retired the final nine batters he faced in a row, finishing the game with six strikeouts, while allowing one run and one walk, along with four hits in seven complete innings.
Offensively, the Rattlers finished the game with five hits, led by Tucker Rayburn’s two RBIa, Seyjuan Lawrence’s two hits and two runs, with an RBI, Brett Maxwell’s ERBI single and another RBI from Brad Hession.
Jackson scored a run in the top of the first, and held that lead until the second, when the Rattlers took the lead for good with a three-run outburst,with two out. Jared Weber drew a walk, Ryan Coscarella followed with another drawn walk. Lawrence lashed an RBI single, scoring Weber for a 1-1 count.
FAMU executed a double steal, as Coscarella stole home, while Lawrence took third for a 2-1 FAMU lead. Brett Maxwell’s grounder was misplayed in right field, allowing Lawrence to score for a 3-1 count.
In the fourth, the Rattlers scored four runs in two hits, aided by Jackson State error. Tucker Rayburn’s two-run single got the rally going, upping the Rattler edge to 5-1. Maxwell later scored on Brad Hession’s sacrifice fly to right, and Rayburn later scored on a passed ball to push FAMU ahead, 7-1.
The Tigers (4-7) scored a run in the eighth, then four more in the top of the ninth, before before closer Jeremiah McCollum came on to struck out the final Jackson hitter, stranding the tying run at third.
WHAT’S ON DECK: The Rattlers were set to play Jackson State at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Moore-Kittles Field.