FAMU goes 1-2 in Bethune-Cookman series, holds No. 2 spot entering conference tourney

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Florida A&M baseball (26-28, 19-11 SWAC) ended its five game losing streak in the final game of the Bethune-Cookman (25-30, 19-11 SWAC) series. Despite ultimately losing the series, the Rattlers withstood their No. 2 standing in the SWAC East.

In the initial game of the series on Thursday, the Rattlers held a 3-1 lead after two innings following Evan Badger homering to the left center which led to a Zeddric Burnham run. Jalen Niles also scored a run from a groundball by Joseph Pierini.

Those were the final runs that the Rattlers scored as the Wildcats evened the score in the fifth inning and took the lead the once and for all in the ninth inning to take the victory 5-3.

Getting bested in the second contest, the Rattlers only mustered a single run from a Pierini homerun in the third inning on the way to a 4-1 loss.

FAMU COVERAGE

Celebrating Senior Day ahead of Saturday's series finale, the Rattlers were able to end their regular season with a 6-1 win over Bethune-Cookman.

"Winning Saturday's game got us the No. 2 seed because we had the tiebreaker over Bethune," Rattlers Head Coach said. "Saturday was Senior Day. Kelyn Fox had his best outing on the hill in this stadium.

"Jeremiah McCollum threw well on Friday and LJ Bryant made a heck of a play on Saturday in the last inning and had a couple of hits. To see Grant Rowell have two hits in his last game here was special. It's something these guys will always remember."

With Ty Hanchey returning this weekend, the Rattlers were powered by 16 hits on Saturday. They never trailed and didn't allow a run until the top of the eighth inning.

"We finally got the lineup we wanted," Shouppe said. "They didn't show up in the first two games but they had 16 hits on Saturday."

The Rattlers' focus is now shifted to the SWAC Tournament which runs from May 25 through 29 at Regions Field in Birmingham.

They'll matchup against Prairie View A&M (29-25, 19-11) in the first round.

"To go 19-11 in our first year in the SWAC sends a good message for our caliber of play," Shouppe said. "All eight teams are capable of winning the tournament.

"We just have to play the game hard, with enthusiasm, and play it aggressively. It's going to be a grind, no doubt."

Gerald Thomas III covers FAMU athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at gdthomas@gannett.com or on Twitter @3peatgee.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU baseball wins its last game of Bethune-Cookman series