Shouppe turns attention to recruiting after FAMU’s fall from baseball tournament
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
FAMU’s baseball team had its share of problems common to a season not going well – pitching that at times was inconsistent and an array of defensive issues.
But as coach Jamey Shouppe looked back on the season that ended with a 9-3 loss to Bethune-Cookman in the recent MEAC tournament, he pointed to an intangible as being a big problem.
Team chemistry just wasn’t there, Shouppe said.
“We have had teams with a whole lot less talent that had been better off win-wise because they played as a team,” Shouppe said. “We went into this season with a lot of optimism. We had a lot of seniors and thought this would have been our best year we had to date. It ended up not being that way.”
His focus now, Shouppe said, is on recruiting to reload with replacements for nine seniors.
For awhile during the closing weeks of the season, it seemed the Rattlers had a shot at clinching the Southern Division title.
However, they fell into a slump that included two losses to eventual tournament champion, North Carolina A&T.
They started the tournament in Daytona with an impressive 14-4 victory over Maryland Eastern Shores, then dropped two straight to fall out of the tournament. They ended their season with a 25-30 record.“There were some good things about the season; some things that as a coaching staff we’ll learn from and be better because of it,” said Shouppe.
He has four scholarships left and most of them could go to pitchers. That’s the one area that hurt the Rattlers the most this season. Against the Wildcats in an elimination game, the pitchers couldn’t slow B-CU’s bats.
The Wildcats tied the game 1-1 after an inning. They gradually built a 7-1 lead and never let the Rattlers back into the game.
The Wildcats broke the game open with five runs in the fifth inning. A run-scoring single by Adonis Lao through the right side put the Wildcats on top 8-1.
FAMU made one attempt to get back in the game but could only muster a solo homer by Jacky Miles and a RBI triple by Willis McDaniel, who later made it home on a wild pitch.
Looking past the Rattlers 1-2 appearance in the tournament, Shouppe said he hopes to fill the void left by nine seniors with solid recruits. That could include some junior college transfers, he said.
“We are optimistic,” he said. “We will continue to recruit and see what’s left out there.”