With the mid-week non-conference game, head coach Lelo Prado elected to hand the ball to freshman Devin Smith for his first collegiate start.
Smith was efficient in his four innings of work, throwing just 45 pitches, 38 of which caught the strike zone. He finished having allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out four.
USF trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, after leaving five runners on base through the first three.
Luis Llerena was hit by a pitch, Alex Mendez walked, and Chad Taylor put down a bunt and beat it out for an infield single to load the bases against freshman starter Christopher Priestly. James Ramsay followed by grounding into a double play, but that pushed across Llerena for the Bulls' first run.
The Rattlers responded with two in the top of the sixth. Aaron Smith blasted a lead-off homerun off lefty Kyle Parker, followed by back-to-back singles from Ryan Sheplak and Reginald Grant.
Pinch-hitter John Scott struck out after failing to lay down a bunt, and Tyler Lawson grounded back to Parker for out number two, allowing both runners to move up 90 feet to second and third. with Dylan West up, Parker unleashed a wild pitch on a fastball in the dirt allowing Sheplak to score for the Rattlers' fourth run.
The Bulls' bats came alive in the home half, pounding out four runs to take their first lead of the night.
USF loaded the bases with one down, and Llerena delivered a two-run single. Mendez followed with a sacrifice fly to tie it, and after a walk to Taylor, Ramsay delived a double to score Llerena and put the Bulls up 5-4.
Adrian Puig allowed an unearned run in the top half of the seventh, and the score remained tied at five as the Bulls and Rattlers headed into the bottom of the ninth.
Cory Franklin began his second inning of work by striking out Jimmy Falla on three pitches.
Todd Brazeal started the rally when he drove a shot to left center that one-hopped the wall, allowing Brazeal to pull into second with a double. Anthony Diaz entered as a pinch runner, and Frankln then allowed back-to-back walks to Zac Gilcrease and Andrew Longley that loaded the bases for USf with just one out.
Teaf worked a full count, then hit a slow grounder toward short. Lawson fielded and got the force at second, but the relay back to first was not in time to nail Teaf as Diaz crossed the plate with the winning run.
The Bulls (18-8, 3-0) committed two errors in the ballgame and left 12 runners on base, but came away with the victory over a FAMU (5-23) squad which remains winless on the road this season in 11 tries. USF will welcome in Big East foe Notre Dame (15-8, 3-0) for a three game set starting Friday at 7 p.m.