Aggies Take Two From FAMU
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 8, 2017) – North Carolina A&T used extra innings second game of a road Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference doubleheader to complete what was stupendous day for Aggies baseball. On Saturday, the Aggies defeated three-time defending MEAC Southern Division champion Florida A&M 7-1 in Game 1 and 4-3 in Game 2 at Moore-Kittles Field.
N.C. A&T’ improved to 16-13 overall. The Aggies two conference wins have appeared to ignite what looks to be a seismic struggle for the three MEAC tournament berths coming out of the MEAC South between Bethune-Cookman (8-3), N.C. A&T (7-4), North Carolina Central (7-5) and Florida A&M (6-5). Pitching helped the Aggies get in the middle of the divisional race in Game 1, while senior Tim Ravare’s game-winning RBI single to cap a remarkable comeback did the trick in Game 2.
Freshman Aggies starter Michael Johnson (RHP) went 6 2/3 innings and only gave up four hits and one run while striking out five to improve to 3-1. RHP Leon Davidson pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief where he only gave up one hit. Ravare had two hits and two RBI and junior Greg White was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. The Aggies offense gave Johnson a good lead to work with early while giving FAMU starter JoJo Durden many troubles.
Junior Myles Sowell started the fun with an RBI triple in the first to score White. Durden then walked junior Adan Ordonez before unleashing a wild pitch that allowed Sowell to score. Walks to redshirt sophomore A.J. Hunt and senior Kyle Clary loaded the bases for Ravare who singled to center field scoring two more Aggies for a 4-0 lead.
Durden was chased in the second after giving up a leadoff double to White, walking freshman Camden Williamson and then tossing a wild pitch. Josh Wilson did quiet the Aggies, escaping the inning without a run scoring. The Rattlers eventually got a run back in the fourth as Wil McDaniel scored on a Johnson wild pitch. It was all N.C. A&T from there. An RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth by Clary scored Hunt for a 5-1 Aggies lead. A White single and steal led to a Williamson RBI single in the sixth and the Aggies scored their final run of the game as Brandon Melendez laid down a bunt that was good enough to get Jarrett Norman home from third.
Johnson did run into trouble in the seventh when Garrett Wilkinson singled and Kaycee Reese walked. Octavien Moyer popped out to second for the second out, however, leading the Aggies to bring in Davidson to face Cameron Johnson who flew out to right to end the inning. Davidson went on to retire the next six batters he faced before Ty Russ earned a pinch-hit single in the ninth with two outs. Pinch-hitter Kodi Russ could not duplicate the feat as he ended the game by lining out to center.
The Aggies trailed 3-0 going into the going into the top of the seventh of the seven-inning second game. Ravare got the rally going with a double to right followed by a Melendez single to put runners on the corners. FAMU starter Ryan Anderson walked White to load the bases and was replaced by Hue Fillngim.
An RBI infield single by Dawnoven Smith brought Ravare home for the Aggies first run. Sowell’s RBI sac fly helped Melendez cross the plate to cut the Rattlers lead to 3-2. Ordonez tied the game on another sac fly as White scored. Hunt struck out swinging to end the inning.
Aggies reliever Cutter Dyals (RHP) had to work his way out of jam where the Rattlers had runners on first and second with two outs. Dyals got Willis McDaniel to fly out to right to send the games into extra innings.
Fillngim did get Norman to strike out to open the eighth, but Fillngim’s pitch went wild after Norman swung and miss. It allowed Norman to reach before being replaced by pinch-runner Jason King. King moved into scoring position on a Clary sacrifice, setting up Ravare’s heroics. Dylas (3-0) picked up the win in relief. Fillngim dropped to 3-1 by taking the loss. Ravare had three hits in Game 2, while Melendez and Hunt and two hits apiece.
The two teams will conclude their series 12 p.m., Sunday.