ATLANTA — The Florida A&M Rattlers saw their 3-1 lead disappear as the Grambling State Tigers scored six runs in the seventh to secure a 9-3 victory on Friday, May 25, 2024, at Russ-Chandler Stadium. This win puts Grambling just one game away from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship.

Key Moments in the Game

Cameron Bufford scores on a throwing error in the Tigers six-run seventh inning.
Cameron Bufford scores on a throwing error in the Tigers six-run seventh inning.

The Rattlers started strong, taking a lead in the sixth inning thanks to senior Sebastian Greico’s three-run homer. Greico’s hit was the highlight for Florida A&M, as he went 1-for-4 with three RBIs. Junior Janmikell Bastardo also contributed, going 2-for-4 at the plate.

However, Grambling State responded with an explosive seventh inning. The Tigers scored six runs, turning the tide of the game. Senior Cameron Bufford led Grambling’s offense, going 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. The inning began with a solo home run by Ashton Inman, reducing the deficit to 3-2. Florida A&M’s relief pitcher, Grant Harrison, struggled, allowing Grambling to load the bases. Martavius Thomas scored the tying run after Harrison walked him, and Tiger Borom’s groundout brought in the go-ahead run.

Grambling State added two more runs in the eighth inning, cementing their lead at 9-3. The Tigers’ pitching staff was equally effective in stifling the Rattlers. Mason Martinez (12-2) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six. Phillip Bryant followed with a stellar performance, securing his first save of the year by striking out five batters over three scoreless innings.

Defensive Highlights and Game Notes

Florida A&M’s defense managed to turn five double plays during the game, a notable achievement despite the loss. Rattlers’ pitchers faced 42 Grambling hitters, recording 10 groundouts and eight flyouts with only one strikeout. Meanwhile, Grambling’s defensive efforts included Bufford’s three-hit game and Bryant’s effective closing.

Upcoming Challenge

The Rattlers will have another chance against Grambling State on Saturday, May 26, with a spot in the SWAC Championship on the line. Florida A&M, the defending SWAC champions, will need to regroup and find a way to overcome the resilient Tigers.

Key Statistics

  • Florida A&M:
    • Sebastian Greico: 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs
    • Janmikell Bastardo: 2-for-4
    • Five double plays turned
  • Grambling State:
    • Cameron Bufford: 3-for-3, 2 RBIs, double
    • Mason Martinez: 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 6 K
    • Phillip Bryant: 3 IP, 2 H, 5 K, save

Photo Gallery

All images by Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports

2024 SWAC Championship: Grambling vs Florida A&M