TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M baseball officially announces its 2017 schedule that will total 30 home games at Moore-Kittles Field and will begin on February 17 with a three-game opening series against Wofford College. FAMU will start the season playing 16 of its first 20 games at home at Moore-Kittles Field. The Rattlers will also play 14 games against in-state competition and eight games against opponents who played in the 2016 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
“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 said. “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. We’re extremely fortunate to have 30 home games this spring, which allows our fans to have the opportunity to come see up play more often and also gives our student athletes the ability to stay in class more during the spring semester.”
FAMU will host non-conference series against Wofford, George Washington, Mercer, East Tennessee State and Jackson State, while having single games versus Jacksonville, Alabama State and North Florida at Moore-Kittles Field. Florida A&M will also travel to Auburn, Florida, South Florida, Jacksonville, Mercer, Alabama State, and North Florida as part of its out of conference schedule.
The Rattlers begin their MEAC schedule the weekend of March 11-12 at Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla. and the first home conference series is the following weekend, March 18-19, against Savannah State. FAMU will wrap up the regular season at North Carolina A&T on the weekend of May 12-13.
The 2017 MEAC Baseball Championship will once again be held in Salisbury, MD at Perdue Stadium, home of the Baltimore Orioles Single A team the Delmarva Shorebirds. The top three teams in each division of the MEAC will advance to the MEAC Baseball Championship.
Florida A&M is returning 16 players from a 2016 team that finished the regular season as the overall number one seed in the MEAC. Florida A&M also recorded its first 30-win season since 2003 and just the third 30-win season since becoming a Division I program in 1980. 2016 posted a strong offensive season as the Rattlers finished ranked in the top 10 nationally in three categories. FAMU also set program records in seven categories and finished in the top three of 19 different categories in program history.
With 21 newcomers to the fall roster, there has been plenty of competition for positions in the middle infield and in the outfield that was left vacant from graduating seniors following the 2016 season. With the addition of many talented new arms to help fill out the pitching staff, 2017 is poised to build off the success of 2016.