Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFs on Twitter)
Florida A&M University baseball team has shown much growth in the last three years under Head Coach Jamey Shouppe, who will be entering his fourth season with the Rattlers.
The Rattlers baseball team has won 80 games under coach Shouppe, and will look to make their way back to the MEAC tournament this season with better results.
The Rattlers were eliminated in the MEAC tournament last season. After finishing the regular season as the overall number one seed in the MEAC.
FAMU will open up the season at home with a three-game opening series against Wofford College, on February 17.
“Our staff and players are extremely excited for the upcoming season and the level of competition we’re able to face on our schedule in 2017, “head coach Jamey Shouppe told reporters. “The players have put in a lot of time this fall and worked extremely hard, both on and off the field, this fall to prepare for the upcoming season.”
FAMU will start the season playing 16 of its first 20 games at home at Moore-Kittles Field.
FAMU will host a non-conference series against Wofford, George Washington, Mercer, East Tennessee State and Jackson State.
They will also travel to Auburn, Florida, South Florida, Jacksonville, Alabama State and North Florida this season.
Coach Shouppe and the Rattlers will be without four key leaders from last season tournament team. Outfielder Marlon Gibbs, who had a .308 batting average, 5 home runs 33 RBI and 7 stolen bases.
And, Dylan Dillard, who who has a .335 BA, 8 HR, 59 RBI and a .587 slugging percentage. He was also the 2016 MEAC Player of the year.
Second baseman and starting pitcher Ricky Page are also formers Rattlers, who the team will be without this season.
FAMU will have 16 returning players coming into the 2017 season, and according to sports information has 21 new players on the roster.
FAMU has also signed 9 players to help accomplish their goals this upcoming season.