Grant impressive in relief for Rattlers
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
The hits just weren’t coming for FAMU in the final game of its opening Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference baseball game against Bethune-Cookman University.
Rattler reliever Jamie Grant didn’t allow the Wildcats to do much offensively, either.
Grant, a product of Florida High who transferred from Thomas University two seasons ago, was definitely in the zone. And, although B-CU managed to take a 6-4 win Sunday to prevent a FAMU sweep of the series, Grant made an impression on coach Jamey Shouppe.
Grant pitched three innings, giving the Rattlers a chance to stay in the game. He struck out four batters, three in the Wildcats’ seventh and eighth innings.
“He kept us in the ballgame and only gave up one hit,” said Shouppe. “Anytime you’re doing that you know you’re locating well.”
When his work was done, he had given up one walk after coming on in relief of Ryan Anderson, who pitched two innings after starter Dallas Oliver went out at the end of the fourth.
“I took it one pitch at a time and made sure I got first-pitch strike,” said Grant. “I was pretty confident.”
It showed in the way he kept B-CU batters off balance with an inside pitch.
“Jamie had been great all year and we knew with him coming in he’d find the strike zone and hit it with the sinker pitch and keep the batters off balance,” said infielder Brian Davis, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning. “He gets confidence on the mound and keeps his pitch count down.”
The Rattlers had more trouble with Wildcats starter Tyler Krull, who got the win after pitching the first seven innings. He got relief help from two other pitchers.
Grant also had a hand in the opening game of the series with a 4-1 victory, working two innings. They took the second game 7-1.
Grant, primarily a situational pitcher who recorded 19 strikeouts so far this season, is 1-1 on the season after 12 appearances. He’s walked six batters and has a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings.
“Jamie Grant is throwing the baseball really well,” Shouppe said. “He has been a go-to guy for us. If he keeps throwing that way all year he will be beneficial to us. Look at his numbers and they are great.”
In Sunday’s series finale, Davis had the Rattlers only homer in the series when he drove a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence in the third inning to give FAMU a 4-1 lead. B-CU scored four in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good.
The series win leaves the Rattlers with an 8-12 overall record and 2-1 in conference play.
“We felt good about this team all along,” Shouppe said. “I like our chances but we’ve got to continue to work hard.”