TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 4) – The FAMU Baseball team extended their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win streak to six games Saturday afternoon by winning a seven-inning 11-1 decision over visiting North Carolina Central at Moore-Kittles Field.
Saturday’s 1:00 game was slated to be Game One of a doubleheader in anticipation of stormy weather on Sunday.
Instead, the stormy weather showed up a day early, with two lightning delays coupled with brief downpours, which extended the actual game to better than four and a half hours.
Game Three will be played Sunday at 12 noon.
Unlike Friday’s 3-0 series opening win which was highlighted by a dominant pitching performance from Kyle Coleman, Saturday’s affair featured more offense from the Rattlers coupled with yet another ace pitching effort.
Junior righty Josh Hancock (5-4) pitched through the two delays, holding the Eagles to just three hits and a second inning run, which gave them a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Hancock worked six full innings, striking out two and walking two in six innings, before giving way in the seventh to reliever Chris Clark, who retired the Eagles in order in the top of the seventh, all via the fly ball.
The Rattlers scored 11 runs on eight hits, highlighted by three solo home runs – one from freshman Robert Robinson, to lead off the bottom of the third to put FAMU ahead for good a 2-1, and two shots from second baseman Octavien Moyer, the second a lead off blast in the bottom of the seventh to invoke the 10-run rule after seven innings ending the game.
Moyer and Jared Weber each finished with two hits and a pair of RBI, while catcher Brett Maxwell led the Rattlers with three RBIs, with Seyjuan Lawrence adding an RBI.
Central (19-26, 10-12 in MEAC) drew first blood in the top of the second when Josh Brammell, who reached on a lead off double, scored on Caleb Coyle’s ground out to short for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Seyjuan Lawrence lashed an RBI double to left, scoring Jared Weber, who had reached on an error, to tie the game, 1-1.
Robinson’s solo shot lead off the bottom of the third, giving FAMU to lead for good at 2-1. Back-to-back doubles by Tucker Rayburn and Jared Weber, pushed the Rattlers ahead, 3-1 before an extensive weather delay ensued.
Upon resumption of play, FAMU added four more runs, one coming on a throwing error during a double steal attempt, allowing Weber to score from second, and Willis McDaniel, who eluded the rundown attempt which went awry, to advance to second, later scored on a bases loadd balk call for a 5-1 lead.
Brett Maxwell then bashed a two-run double to left, scoring Seyjuan Lawrence and Kaycee Reese for a 7-1 lead.
In the fourth, FAMU added two more runs on an RBI single by Weber, scoring Octavien Moyer, before Tucker Rayburn scored from third when Brett Maxwell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for a 9-1 score.
Moyer’s one-out solo shot in the fifth pushed the Rattlers to the brink of victory at 10-1, then his lead off blast in the bottom of the seventh ended the game.
Saturday’s win was the sixth straight MEAC win for FAMU (20-28, 12-8), all but locking up a spot in the MEAC Tournament with four games left.
A win Sunday would lock down a playoff spot for certain for the Rattlers with only a road series at division-leading North Carolina A&T this coming weekend remaining on their schedule.
FINAL GAME STATS ARE LINKED TO SEASON STATS