The Bulldogs' big bats and brilliant bullpen extended Mississippi Gulf Coast's season-opening win streak to eight with a sweep Wednesday at Nunez in Chalmette, La.
Gulf Coast won the opener 13-0 in five innings then rallied for an 8-4 win in the nightcap. It was the first time MGCCC had trailed since the first game of the season.
"We swung the bats well," Bulldogs coach Rodney Batts said. "When we got behind in Game 2, it challenged us. We had to bounce back, come from behind."
Brandon Parker (Fr, West Harrison/Saucier) hit a leadoff home run in the seventh inning of the second game to break a 4-4 tie. His second bomb of the day left him with seven RBI. He had a grand slam in the opener.
"That was a great piece of hitting," Batts said. "He had two strikes. He drove it out of the park."
Castor Lee (Fr, Gulfport/Gulfport) followed with another solo homer, and he drove in six runs Wednesday. The Bulldogs would add runs on singles by Dustan Dille (Fr, Brookwood/Tuscaloosa, Ala.) and Dylan Menhennett (So, Biloxi/Biloxi).
Gulf Coast might not have been in position to win if it hadn't been for shutout relief work. The Bulldogs went to the pen in the second inning, and Batts summoned Bailey Hargrave (R-So, Madison Central/Madison).
"Our bullpen was really good," Batts said. "Hargrave came in in a tough situation, runners at first and second, down 4-1 with two outs and gets out of it. He goes on and throws two really good innings. Then (Kole) Kittrell came in and had really good stuff. He had it all working."
Hargrave struck out three in 2.1 innings of work, allowing one hit. Kittrell (Fr, Greene County/State Line) struck out five in three no-hit innings to get the win.
Lee and Fisher Ray (Fr, George County/Bruce) had doubles in the first game. Lee had four hits, including a double and that solo home run, in the second game. Parker, Ray and Logan McGrew (So, Sumrall/Sumrall) had two hits.
Menhennett hit a two-run shot in the first game, his NJCAA-leading sixth home run. He had three RBI against Nunez (1-8).
Gulf Coast returns to action Saturday when Dyersburg State visits Perkinston. First pitch at Ken "Curly" Farris Field is at 1 p.m.
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