Feb. 13, 2015
Box Score PDF
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Marshall baseball dropped its opening game of 2015, falling 4-3 to Florida A&M Friday in Tallahassee, Fla., at Moore-Kittles FIeld. The Rattlers earned their 12th straight win by one run, dating back to the 2014 season.
Senior shortstop Sergio Leon (Miami) turned in a 2-for-3 performance with a stolen base and a run and freshman Tyler Ratliff (Alexandria, Va.) collected two RBI in his debut.
Senior Matt Margaritonda (Freehold, N.J.) got the Opening Day bid for Marshall. The righty tossed six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and collecting six strikeouts.
The Rattlers took the early lead with two runs on the bottom of the second, and plated a third run the following inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Herd began its climb back. Juniors Ryne Dean (Fresno, Calif.) and DJ Gee (Seattle) ripped back-to-back singles up the middle, and after a groundout from freshman Chad Roberts (Wilmington, Ohio), each advanced 90 feet.
Ratliff recorded his first collegiate hit, knocking a ball to center field that sent both Dean and Gee home and put Marshall within one.
In the top of the 8th, Leon took first on a hit-by-pitch, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout.
Senior TJ Diffenderfer (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) collected his first RBI of the season after Leon scored on his groundout.
The Rattlers replied in the bottom of the inning, when a hard ball from designated hitter Michael Birdsong to center forced a Herd error and sent FAMU home with the go-ahead, and ultimately, winning run.
Marshall turned in eight hits in the contest; redshirt senior Josh King (Troup, Ga.) recorded his first collegiate hit, a single through the right side.
The Herd faces the Rattlers in game two of the series Saturday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. Junior Chase Boster (Stafford, Va.), a 2014 summer league third team Collegiate All-American selection, will get the start.