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Rattler Baseball drops series opener to Jackson State

Posted at 10:43 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 22:43:54-05

JACKSON, Ms. — Josh Hancock fanned a season-high nine batters, but it wasn't enough to overcome three errors as the Florida A&M University baseball team dropped the series opener to Jackson State, 7-6, on a chilly Friday evening at Braddy Field.

Florida A&M (4-7) fell behind 5-0 during the first three innings, but battled back to take a brief 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Jackson State (7-5) took advantage of an error in the bottom of the frame and got a clutch base hit by Jayln Williams to pick up the go-ahead run.

How It Happened
Jackson State grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Equon Smith, who reached on a one-out single to right center, scored on a base hit to right field by Chandler Dillard.

The Tigers added three more runs, all unearned, in the second as the Rattlers committed an error and Hancock was charged with a wild pitch, allowing Jackson State to open up a 4-0 lead.

JSU picked up another run in the third to extend its lead to 5-0.

Florida A&M got a run back in the top of the fourth, closing the gap to 5-1.

Robert Robinson led off the frame with a single up the middle and moved to second when Jared Weber reached on a single down the left field line. Tucker Rayburn walked to the bases, but was out at second on LJ Bryant's fielder's choice as Robinson came across to score.

The Rattlers finally got to Jackson State starting pitcher Anthony Becerra in the top of the seventh as Florida A&M scored five runs on three hits to take a 6-5 advantage.

Bryant was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and moved to second on a base hit by Tristen Cooper. Seyjuan Lawrence was hit by a pitch, loading the bases and forcing Jackson State to change pitchers. After the pitching change, Cirr-Nicholas Bohannon reached on catcher's interference as Bryant scored. Brad Hession followed with a walk as Cooper came across to score.

Still with no out in the frame, Robinson hit a bloop single to right, scoring Lawrence from third. Octavien Moyer followed with a single to left to plate Bohannon. Hession crossed on a wild pitch, giving FAMU its first lead of the night at 6-5.

But back came Jackson State in the bottom of the frame as the Tigers took advantage of an error to grab a 7-6 lead.

The Rattlers put two runners on in the ninth but couldn't get a timely hit in dropping the series opener.

Inside the Numbers
> Florida A&M finished with six runs on nine hits, committed three errors and left nine on base

> Tristen Cooper, Jared Weber and Robert Robinson each collected two hits

> Josh Hancock started on the mound and did not figure into the decision and he pitched six innings. He gave up five runs (two earned) on eight hits, fanned a season-high nine and walked one

> Zach Morea (1-2) and Tommy Ben pitched in relief

> Jackson State finished with seven runs on 11 hits and stranded seven on base

> Chandler Dillard led the Tigers at the plate by going 4-for-4, with two runs scored and one RBI

> Anthony Bacerra started on the rubber for the Tigers and surrendered four runs on three hits, struck out nine and walked four in six innings

> Steven Davila and Mario Lopez worked in relief as Lopez picked up the save

Up Next
Florida A&M returns continues its three-game series with Jackson State on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. (eastern).