DURHAM, N.C. (FAMU ATHLETICS) — The Florida A&M baseball team suffered a 10-4 setback at the hands of the North Carolina Central at the Durham Athletic Park on Thursday afternoon.
Both teams combined to hit five home runs, but it was NCCU (22-18, 14-11 MEAC) who prevailed on the strength of two three-run homers.
While FAMU (21-29, 15-10 MEAC) hit two home runs and registered seven hits, the Eagle pitching staff, led by starter Vernon Adams, struck out 17 batters. Offensively, Tucker Rayburn paced the Rattlers, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a double.
In the top of the third inning, FAMU worked the bases loaded, putting some pressure on Vernon. Jared Weber drew a bases loaded walk, giving the Rattlers an early 1-0 lead.
After NCCU added a three-run homer in the bottom of the frame, the Rattlers responded in the top of the fourth when Rayburn smacked a solo shot over the right-field wall, trimming the Eagles lead to 3-2.
One inning later, junior outfielder LJ Bryant tied the game at 3-3 with a solo home run.
NCCU, however, outscored the Rattlers 7-1 over the final 4.5 innings to seize momentum and claim the victory.
Starting pitcher Kyle Coleman (2-5) picked up the loss working 8.0 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits while striking out four.
FAMU looks to rebound against the Eagles on Friday, as both teams will play a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
Despite Thursday's loss, FAMU can still claim the top seed in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Southern Division heading into next week's MEAC Tournament by winning two of its next three games versus NCCU.