Thursday, March 3, 2016

FAMU Baseball Back on Track with 14-7 Win at Mercer on Wednesday

MACON, Georgia Florida A&M (4-5) handed Mercer (7-2) just their second loss off the season as the Rattlers pounded out 16 hits on their way to a 14-7 win at Claude Smith Field on Wednesday. FAMU scored five runs in the second inning and added five more in the eighth inning to help put the game away. Marlon Gibbs and Ben Ellzey each went 3-for-6 on the day, while Gibbs added a home run and three RBI.

Cameron Johnson, Jacky Miles, Jr. and AJ Elkins each had two hits and two RBI for the Rattler offense, while Willis McDaniel had three RBI for FAMU.

Reliever Kenny McDonald (1-1) earned the win after he came in to pitch the final out of the fourth inning and worked the next three innings of relief. McDonald allowed two runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout. Starting pitcher Ryan Anderson worked 3.1 innings and gave up five runs (three earned) on seven hits with four walks, a wild pitch and one hit batter.

The Bears got on the board first with a single run in the bottom of the first inning for an early 1-0 lead. Ryan Hagan walked with one out and came around to score on Danny Edgeworth’s, two out, RBI double for the first run of the game.

FAMU grabbed the lead, at 5-1, with five runs on three hits in the top of the second inning and never looked back. With one out, Ellzey reached on a hard hit single to third base and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Miles, Jr. and Cameron Johnson then followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases. AJ Elkins’ two-run double, into right center, brought home Ellzey and Miles, Jr. for the Rattlers first runs of the game. Johnson then tagged up and scored on Willis McDaniel’s sac fly to left for the third run of the inning. Marlon Gibbs capped off the scoring in the inning as he belted his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left center.

Mercer picked up an unearned run in the second inning to cut the FAMU lead to 5-2.
The Rattlers pushed their lead to 6-2 with another run in the third inning. Ellzey singled to center with two outs and Miles, Jr. then roped an RBI double off the wall in center field to score Ellzey all the way from first.

MU scored three runs in the fourth inning to make the score 6-5. Trey Truitt singled to right with one out and Matt Meeder followed with a two-run home run to left center. Hagan then walked and moved to second on a wild pitch as Kyle Lewis was also walked to put runners at first and second. Edgeworth would reach first on a fielding error by Ryan Kopenski as he was ruled off the bag on the cover play that loaded the bases. Hagan later scored from third on a groundout by Hunter Bening for the unearned run.

Florida A&M answered with three runs in fifth inning for a score of 9-5. Brian Davis led off with a walk and Dylan Dillard was hit-by-pitch to start the inning. Davis then scored from second on a perfectly executed hit-and-run on Miles, Jr’s RBI single to right, which also allowed Dillard to advance to third base. Dillard scored the second run on Johnson’s RBI single through the right side. Miles Jr. also scored in the inning on Gibbs bases loaded RBI single to the shortstop.

In the seventh inning, Ben Upton’s pinch hit two-run home run cut the FAMU lead to 9-7.

FAMU put the game out of reach with five more runs in the eighth inning for the final score of 14-7. Gibbs poked a single through the right side to open the inning, Alec Wong drew a walk and Davis singled through the right side to load the bases with no outs. Peter Jackson then drew a bases loaded walk to plate Gibbs from third. Ellzey would hit into a 3-2-4 double play and Davis scored on a wild pitch before Johnson’s RBI single brought home Jackson. McDaniel put the final two runs of the game on the board for FAMU with a two-run single through the left side.

Mercer starter Nick Spear (1-1) allowed five runs on three hits in just two innings of work for the loss. Spear also had two walks and two strikeouts.

The Rattlers return home to Moore-Kittles Field this weekend to face Western Michigan in a three-game series beginning of Friday. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 4:00 PM, while Saturday and Sunday’s games will begin at 1:00 PM.

As always, fans can follow Rattler Baseball on Twitter @BaseballFAMU and on Facebook.

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