Southern derails Rattlers’ quest for SWAC baseball title

Coach Jamey Shouppe (center) encourages the Rattlers during their final game against Southern.
Photo by FAMU athletics

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

The FAMU baseball team just couldn’t get past Southern University when it counted most in the SWAC baseball championship tournament. As it turned out, the two teams met three times in two days, with Southern scoring two victories in pivotal games.

The biggest blow that the Jaguars dealt the Rattlers (29-30) came last Saturday afternoon in a 10-2 loss, just hours after FAMU had taken an 11-7 win to reach the semifinal matchup. A day earlier, Southern rallied from a 7-0 deficit to win their first meeting in the tournament, 8-7.

FAMU looked like the team to beat on opening day of the tournament when it pounded Prairie View 17-1. However, Southern became too much to overcome. The Rattlers went into the tournament as the No. 2 seed after finishing regular season play in second place.

The Jaguars put up a tenacious fight in the championship game before succumbing 6-5 to Alabama State after 14 innings. Both teams traded the lead several times, including the 13 inning, before Alabama State put the game away on a double play.

The championship win was the first for Alabama State since the 2016. Southern was making its third straight bid for the SWAC title. 

In the Rattlers’ second game against Southern, the Jaguars took the lead early in by scoring three runs at the bottom of the first inning. Southern added two more runs in the fourth and sixth to go up 5-0. 

A run-scoring single by Jalen Niles accounted for the Rattlers’ first run in the bottom of the seventh. They got a ground-out RBI to make it 5-2, leaving the Rattlers with a deficit that they couldn’t overcome. 

 FAMU put three players on the All-Tournament team. They include Ty Hanchey, Jared Weber and LJ Bryant.


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