The Florida A&M Rattlers are the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Champions. They won the championship in dramatic fashion having to climb out of the losers bracket winning the first game, 5-4 and forcing a final winner-take-all game two, which the Rattlers won8-1. The win was the baseball program’s eighth MEAC Conference championship and second since it last won the crown in 2015.
FAMU won behind the superior pitching of Kyle Coleman (6-5). He struck out nine hitters, allowed six hits only giving up one run for the complete game win as they finished off the business they came to Daytona Beach, Florida, to do.
Head coach, Jamey Shouppe, since coming over to FAMU from nearby Florida State, has built a program that expects to win on a national level. Rattlers coaches, players, and fans want a trip to the College World Series.
FAMU got phenomenal play out of both their young and experienced players. Robert Robinson, Jared Weber, Willis McDaniel, Kaycee Reese, Seyjuan Lawrence, Tucker Rayburn and Octavien Moyer led the grind showing the momentum that was gained by their fierce play after fighting a loss to Norfolk State in the second game of the tournament.
Florida A&M jumped on the Spartans early. The Rattlers jumped out to a 6-1 lead early in the championship game and never looked back.
Norfolk State hitters were off balance all afternoon. They did not know what was coming because Coleman can throw a variety of quality pitches. Coleman threw 112 pitches and went the distance.
Norfolk State had a chance to plate runs early. In the bottom of the first inning, the Spartans scored one run on two and leaving the bases loaded. But Coleman struck out Khie Simms looking to end the inning.
The big aspect of Coleman’s dominance was that he kept the Norfolk crowd in their seats. The crowd was a Rattler dominant crowd because of the fairly close proximity of the location of Tallahassee to Daytona which is a four hour drive across the Sunshine State. Spartan fans had nothing to cheer about on Saturday.
The baseball team was still feeling the sting of losing Thursday’s second game. Being one game away from elimination was still on their mind.
FAMU left with the best business deal you could ask for…conference champs.
The Rattlers picked up some tournament awards. Reese was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and head coach Jamey Shouppe was named Outstanding Tournament Coach.
The team’s next game will be the NCAA Division I Regional. They will find out during the Memorial Day holiday, May 27, when the NCAA will announce during the Baseball Tournament Selection Show on ESPNU where their regional game will be played on the Road to Omaha and the College World Series.