Anyone not in attendance at Moore-Kittles Field on March 5, sure did miss a show.
On that amazing afternoon Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) Baseball team rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning to score nine runs and tie the game, then walked off in the bottom of the tenth inning for a miraculous comeback victory over East Tennessee State University.
“I’ve been coaching baseball 30 years – 25 in college, five in high school – and I’ve never seen anything like it. Just amazing and I’m so happy for our guys,” Shouppe said.
Down 12-3 in the ninth inning, Coach Shouppe had already emptied most of his bench, allowing reserve players to get some playing time.
Although there were only four regular starters left in the lineup, that did not stop the Rattlers from putting together the best ninth inning rally most coaches, players and fans had ever seen.
FAMU sent 14 hitters to the plate in the inning. Octavien Moyer got things started with a hit by pitch. John Capra then singled through the left side, and Brian Davis was also hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.
Florida A&M then recorded four consecutive runs batted in (RBI) singles from Kodi Russ, Malachi Mitchell, Willis McDaniel and Dallas Oliver, making the score 12-7. With one out, FAMU got two huge hits from freshmen Eric Blanc, Jr. and Octavien Moyer.
Blanc drove an RBI single up the middle and Moyer laced a double down the left field line, bringing in two runners, making the score 12-10.
Down to their final out with the bases loaded, Kodi Russ hit a ground ball to first base that was misplayed, allowing FAMU to tie the score at 12-12 and send the game into extra innings.
When play resumed, Jamie Grant (4-0) set the Rattlers up for their fourth walk-off win of the season. Willis McDaniel walked to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a great heads-up base running play on a deep fly ball to center field. Jamie Grant drew a walk, putting runners on first and second with one out.
Once again, Eric Blanc, Jr. came up clutch, driving the game winning RBI double to left center field, scoring McDaniel from second for a final score of 13-12.