Devin Simmons, Correspondent
Copy Editor: Megan Bohnenberger
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchises portioning.net) – Coming off of a 23-23 regular season record last year, as well as a MEAC title, FAMU Rattlers are well-prepared for their season opening game, which is less than 20 days away. With Fall ball taking place in October, the Rattlers are ready and eager for opening day.
Head coach Jamey Shouppe explained, “We have to feel good coming from where the program started. We feel like everything is going in the right direction, and we plan on taking the program to the next level.”
With a phenomenal performance last year, the Rattlers look to carry that into this season.
“We are working on better pitching,” said Shouppe. “We don’t practice to lose; we practice to win. If we play well enough, we will have a chance to defeat anyone,” explained Shouppe.
Brandon Fleming remains a threat, having won 7 of his 8 starts last season. He was named MEAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after their victory.
“Brandon was the go-to guy last year, and he will be even better this year,” said Shouppe. “Any time we had a difficult situation, we gave him the baseball.”
Marlon Gibbs came off of an outstanding season, batting .316 with 30 RBIs. Coach Shouppe said, “Marlon will be moved from the third hole to the leadoff position. He runs very well; he is a leader and the guys all look up to him.”
The Rattlers received a new catcher, a transfer student from Chipola Junior college by the name of Jacky Miles Jr. As a sophomore recovering from injuries sustained last year, he seems like a questionable choice.
However, Shouppe seems confident. “Jacky Miles Jr. will DH or catch. He is a captain as a sophomore because he earned it through his leadership qualities. He also has a chance to be drafted. If he was not injured last year, he would probably be in professional baseball,” he declared.
The Rattlers take on Marshall University in the home and season opener on February 19th. The first pitch is slated for 4:00 PM eastern time.