DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 15) – The FAMU Baseball team scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to cap a smashing 13-3 victory over the Delaware State Hornets in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Championship here at Jackie Robinson Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday’s victory advances FAMU (23-31) to face Northern Division champion Norfolk (Va.) State in the second of two winner’s bracket games, here Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Delaware State (18-24) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Rattlers took control of the game in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on three hits, aided by two DelState errors, while leaving the bases loaded.
Seyjuan Lawrence led off with a single, followed by a Kaycee Reese double and a walk drawn by Brett Maxwell to load the bases. Ryan Coscarella’s fielder’s choice grounder was misplayed by the Hornet shortstop, allowing Lawrence to score and tie the game, 1-1.
Lead off hitter Robert Robinson hit a fielder’s choice grounder to score Reese from third, for a 2-1 FAMU lead, advancing Coscarella and Maxwell to second and third.
Octavien Moyer’s reached on a fielder’s choice grounder to third, but Maxwell was thrown out at the plate on the play for the Rattlers’ first out. After Tucker Rayburn struck out, Jared Weber lashed a two-run single, scoring Coscarella and Robinson for a 4-1 Rattler lead.
The Rattlers increased their lead to 5-1 in the third, on Octavien Moyer’s RBI double, scoring Maxwell, who reached on a walk and stole second base.
FAMU added two more tallies in the fourth to increase their lead to 7-1. Willis McDaniel’s RBI single scored Weber from second, then he later scored from third on Maxwell’s sacrifice bunt.
Delaware State scored two runs in the top of the fifth to slice the Rattler lead to 7-3, but FAMU made moves in the bottom of the sixth, boosting their edge to 8-3, when Maxwell lined an RBI striple, scoring McDaniel who drew a lead off walk.
In the bottom of the eighth, Coscarella’s fielder’s choice grounder with two on, scored Kaycee Reese, who reached on a lead off single for a 9-3 lead, then Robert Robinson’s RBI double scored Maxwell for a 10-3 cushion. Octavien Moyer’s sacrifice fly scored Coscarella from third for increase the FAMU lead to 11-3.
Tucker Rayburn’s single up the middle plated Robinson from third for a 12-3 count with one out, then following a walk drawn by Jared Weber, McDaniel ripped a single up the middle, scoring Rayburn for the game-winner, invoking the 10-run rule (after seven innings).
Kyle Coleman (5-5) pitched eight complete innings, getting his second complete game in his last three starts. The junior righty struck out seven against one walk, allowing three runs on nine hits.
Wakulla’s Jared Weber led FAMU with three hits and a pair of RBIs Wednesday. Willis McDaniel and Brett Maxwell each finished with two hits and two RBIs, while Octavien Moyer had a hit and two RBIs. Robert Robinson (one hit) and Tucker Rayburn (two hits) both drove in a run.