FAMU Blows Lead and Falls to Marshall 11-9 in Game 3

FAMU Marshall
Posted at 10:27 PM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-21 22:27:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After taking a 6-4 lead into the eighth inning, Florida A&M (2-1) tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning but fell 11-9 to Marshall (1-2) in 12 innings on Sunday at Moore-Kittles Field. Ben Ellzey, Alec Wong and Dylan Dillard each had three hits on the day. The Rattlers totaled a program best 54 hits in the three-game series.

 Rattler starting pitcher Ricky Page worked the first 4.2 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and four walks. Kenny McDonald (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) in the top of the 12th inning.

The Herd scored first in the top of the first inning with a pair of runs for a 2-0 lead. Corey Bird led the game off with a walk on four pitches and stole second before coming around to score on Sam Finfer’s one out RBI single. Finfer would steal second and score with two outs as Tommy Lane singled into right center.

 FAMU erupted to take a 6-2 lead with six runs on seven hits as they sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, Willis McDaniel was hit-by-pitch and advanced to third on a single to right by Wong. Ryan Hutson’s infield single then plated McDaniel and Wong would come home to score on AJ Elkins single to left field. Marlon Gibbs then ripped a two-run double into the right center game to give the Rattlers the lead and scored on Shane Gordon’s RBI single up the middle. Gordon then scored on Ellzey’s double just inside the first bag as it rolled down the line.

 Marshall cut the lead in half, 6-3, with an unearned run in the top of the third inning. DJ Gee reached on a fielding error by Hutson with one out and stole second before moving to third on a groundout from Finfer. Tyler Ratliff just beat the throw to first, that would have ended the inning, on a grounder to short allowing Gee to score from third.

 The Thundering Herd worked the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning but was unable to score. Gee singled to right with one out and with two outs stole second before Ratliff drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch and Lane walked to load the bases. Kendal Weeks would then come in to relieve starter Ricky Page and gets a grounder to short on his first pitch to end the Marshall scoring threat.

 Cory Garrastazu cut the Rattler lead to 6-4 with a lead off home run in the sixth inning.

 Florida A&M had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, but failed to score. Ellzey and Dillard drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom half of the inning and with two outs Wong was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Hutson battled through a 12-pitch at bat but ended up grounding into a fielder’s choice to strand the runners.

 Marshall re-gained the lead, at 8-6, with four runs in the top of the eighth inning. Aaron Bossi led off the eighth with a single to center and Garrastazu was hit-by-pitch to place runners on first and second with no outs. Danny Rodriguez came in to pitch for FAMU and got a ground ball, but an errant throw to third trying to get the lead runner loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Ryne Dean reached on a fielder’s choice as the runner was out at second base, but Bossi scored the fifth run of the game for Marshall. Corey Bird would tie the game with an RBI single to left that brought home Garrastazu. Gee later gave the Herd the lead with an RBI single and Bird added another run.

 FAMU answered with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at 8-8. Elkins singled to right and advanced to second on a fielding error by the right fielder. After a wild pitch to go to third, Elkins scored on an RBI groundout from Gibbs. Ellzey then doubled to right with two outs and Dillard singled and moved up on a throwing error by the third baseman to place runners on second and third. Jacky Miles, Jr. walked on a full count to load the bases and a balk plated Ellzey to tie the game at 8-8.

 The Rattlers had a runners on second base in each of the ninth and tenth innings, but were unable to bring the winning run home.

 In the 12th inning, the Herd scored three runs on four hits to give them the lead for good at 11-8. Pitcher Sam Hunter, led off with a single to left and Bird walked as runners were now on first and second with no outs. An errant throw to second from Miles Jr. went into shallow right field and allowed Hunter to score from second base. MU added two more runs in the inning after a pair of hits to push its lead to three.

 Florida A&M added a single run in the bottom of the 12th inning, but it wasn’t enough in the 11-9 final. Gordon doubled down the left line to start the Rattler 12th inning and Ellzey’s bloop single down the right line advanced Gordon to third base. Dillard plated Gordon with an RBI single to center for the final run of the game.

 Marshall reliever Sam Hunter (1-0) earned the win after working 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Joshua Shapiro earned the save after closing out the 12th inning.

 The Rattlers have a pair of midweek games this week as they travel to Jacksonville (5:00 PM) on Tuesday and Auburn (4:00 PM)on Wednesday.

***Courtesy FAMU Athletics