Rattlers suffer frustrating series loss to Marshall
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Baffled by the outcome of FAMU’s opening baseball series against Marshall University, coach Jamey Shouppe insisted that his team is much better than the 9-0 loss in which it committed more errors than the hits it got.
The Thundering Herds took the opening game 17-5 at Moore-Kittles Field, then the Rattlers tied the series a day later with an 8-win before the shutout loss this past Sunday.
“One weekend can’t define us as a team,” an obviously disappointed Shouppe said. “We just have to turn around and start playing better baseball.”
He urged his players to have short memories of their meltdown.
“We’ve got to understand there is a lot of baseball in front of us and we’ve got to stay together as a team and improve on all the things we didn’t do well over the weekend,” he said.
Shouppe’s frustration is understandable. The Rattlers left 12 runners stranded and they made six errors while managing just three hits to end the three-game series.
“There is no excuse for not getting more than three hits in a nine-inning game against not overpowering stuff (from Marshall pitchers),” Shouppe said. “We just didn’t play good baseball.”
His players agreed.
“We just have to be prepared every single day and not fear anybody,” said Outfielder Jordan Curtis, a Lincoln High School product who played two seasons at TCC. “We have all the confidence to do it,”.
“We just have to be prepared every single day and not fear anybody,” Curtis said. “We have all the confidence to do it.”
Before putting the blame on himself and his staff, Shouppe said perhaps he underestimated how capable his team is.
“We aren’t as good as we thought we were; plain and simple,” he said. “We made more errors than hits today. Poor execution all the way around. That goes to me. I didn’t have these guys ready to play and that’s what’s so disappointing.”
Starter Dallas Oliver, who was making his first start for the Rattlers, shared Shouppe’s disappointment over the outcome. A junior college transfer from Lawson State College, he pitched five innings in his first start since having Tommy John surgery that kept him inactive most of last season.
“I always thought I could have pitched better and I should have pitched better today,” he said. “I threw 90 pitches in five (innings). I want to give 50 in five. I’m disappointed. It hurts to lose.”
FAMU plays another three-game series against Alcorn State this weekend, one that Curtis is optimistic the Rattlers will be better prepared for. But they can’t let the Marshall loss linger, he said.
“It was a big eye-opener for what we have to do in the future,” he said.