FAMU baseball set to open at Stetson, picked to finish second in Southern Division of MEAC

Baseball coach Jamey Shouppe begins his eighth season with the Rattlers this weekend in Deland.
Photo courtesy FAMU athletics

Special to the Outlook

When the FAMU baseball team opens the season Friday at Stetson in Deland, the Rattler squad will include five players who were selected to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason all-conference teams. The team was also predicted to finish second in the MEAC Southern Division.

The Rattlers will play single games during the three-day series against Stetson, which concludes Sunday afternoon.

The MEAC announced its pre-season selections last week. Junior third baseman Tristen Cooper landed on the MEAC first team, while seniors Kyle Coleman, Jeremiah McCollum and Seyjuan Lawrence and junior Jared Weber earned second-team honors.

 During the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, Cooper, who hails from Bonifay, Ala., had a .327 batting average, which was the second highest on the team. He added seven RBI, two doubles and one triple. 

Coleman, a 6-foot-7 225-pound pitcher, posted a 6.95 ERA last season. He started four games, recorded 20 strikeouts through 22.0 innings pitched and finished with a 1-1 record. 

Relief pitcher Jeremiah McCollum made five appearances and held a 1.42 ERA in 2020. The hard throwing right-hander from the Lone Star State struck out 11 of the 27 batters he faced

Outfielder Seyjuan Lawrence batted .250, with seven RBI, four doubles and one triple. He also stole two bases on two attempts. 

First baseman Jared Weber was third in the MEAC in batting average (.393). He also led the conference in total hits (24) and doubles (7). Weber knocked in 11 RBI and one home run. 

In the MEAC predictions, FAMU picked up 24 points and three first-place votes, on the way to being projected to finish second in the Southern Division behind North Carolina A&T (32 points, eight first-place votes). North Carolina Central (16 points, one first-place vote) landed in the third spot.

In the Northern Division, Norfolk State (29 points, six first-place votes) was selected to finish first, followed by Coppin State (26, five first-place votes) and Delaware State (17, one first-place vote). 

Meanwhile, the FAMU softball team was forced to suspend the start of its season due to COVID-19 concerns within the program. The pause of all team-related activities forced the team out of the JoAnne Graf Classic at Florida State last weekend.

FAMU was scheduled to open play against FSU last Thursday night, then take on Missouri the following night before wrapping up weekend against Memphis. It wasn’t clear how long the current pause will last.