Sunday, March 20, 2016

Florida A&M Rattlers Baseball Wins10th Straight, Splits Doubleheader at Savannah State

SAVANNAH, Georgia  – Florida A&M (13-6, 4-1 MEAC) won it’s 10th straight game, but split the doubleheader at Savannah State (6-14, 1-1 MEAC) by scores of 7-2 and 1-2 at Tiger Field on Saturday. Senior Ricky Page struck out a career high six batters in the game two loss, while starter Danny Rodriguez (3-0) earned the win in game one after he pitched a season long seven innings and allowed two unearned runs on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Page (1-1) pitched a complete game in the loss and allowed two unearned runs on six hits with the career-high six strikeouts and one walk. Dylan Dillard (2-for-4), Brian Davis (2-for-3) and Jacky Miles, Jr. all had multi-hit performances in game one, while Ryan Hutson went 2-for-3 in game two.

The Tigers scored first in game one with a pair of unearned runs in the home half of the first inning for a 2-0 lead. Jalen Atterbury reached on an error by Dillard on a ground ball at first base to lead off the inning. Jonathan Moore followed with a single to left and Charles Sikes walked to load the bases with no outs. Atterbury came home from third for the first run of the game as Mendez Elder grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Moore was also able to later score on a wild pitch.

FAMU finally was able to get on the board with an unearned run in the sixth inning to cut the lead in half at 2-1. Alec Wong reached on a throwing error by the pitcher and after Ben Ellzey flew out to right field, Dillard singled through the left side. Davis was then hit-by-pitch to load the bases and Jacky Miles, Jr. plated Wong from third with a sac fly to left field for Florida A&M’s first run of the day.

The Rattler offense erupted for five runs on five hits in the seventh inning, including a two-run triple from Miles, Jr. to take their first lead of the game at 6-2. Willis McDaniel led off with a single to left and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Peter Jackson. Marlon Gibbs then singled through the left side to place runners on the corners with one out. FAMU loaded the bases as Wong was hit-by-pitch and Ellzey brought home McDaniel with an RBI single to left that to tie the game at 2-2. With the bases still loaded, the Tigers made a pitching change as Alex Wright came into the game. Dillard, the first batter Wright faced, singled home Gibbs from third and a sac fly to right field by Davis allowed Wong to come home for the third run of the inning. Miles, Jr. then roped a two-run triple, his first of the year, into the left-center gap.

Florida A&M scored their final run of game one in the eighth inning in what proved to be the final score of 7-2. Gibbs and Wong drew back-to-back walks with one out and Ellzey was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Gibbs was then able to score on a sac fly from Dillard.

Tiger starter Trevor McKenna (1-2) suffered the loss in game one after allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in 6.2 innings of work. McKenna had six strikeouts and two walks.

In game two, it turned into a pitchers duel. The Tigers scored all they would need with two runs in the bottom of the third inning for a 2-0 lead. Atterbury drew a walk with two outs and a misplayed ball by Ellzey allowed Moore to reach second before Sikes' two-run single into left field gave SSU the lead for good.

FAMU had a chance in the seventh inning, but was only able to come up with one run. Dillard led off with a single to left and went to third, with one out, as Cameron Johnson singled to right. Shane Gordon then came in to pinch run at first base for Johnson before Dillard came home on a pinch hit groundout from Miles, Jr. With Gordon representing the tying run at second base with two outs, Hutson popped up to second base to end the game.

Savannah State game two starter Ryan McCranie (1-1) had a solid outing as he allowed just one run on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk in a complete game win.

The Rattlers and Tigers will close out the three-game series on Sunday at 1:00 PM.
As always, fans can follow Rattler Baseball on Twitter @BaseballFAMU and on Facebook.

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