On the day he won MACJC Player of the Week for hitting three home runs, Brandon Parker topped himself. The freshman right fielder hit three in a single game, helping power Mississippi Gulf Coast to a sweep at Coastal Alabama-South in Bay Minette.
Parker drove in seven runs in a 15-4 win in Game 1, and the Bulldogs doubled up the Sun Chiefs 8-4 in the second behind a strong start from Blaise Butirich.
"It's fun watching him play right now," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "I'm just letting him do his thing. He's seeing the ball really well and getting good pitches to hit."
Gulf Coast improved to 11-1. The Bulldogs return to action Saturday at MGM Park in Biloxi. They play Illinois Central at noon and Baton Rouge at 6 p.m.
Parker (Fr, West Harrison/Saucier) leads the country with nine home runs in the first 12 games. He now has 26 RBI.
Parker's first home run came in the second inning and tied the game at 1. Logan McGrew (So, Sumrall/Sumrall) followed with one of his own to make it 2-1.
An Alden Davis (Fr, Pascagoula/Pascagoula) sacrifice fly in the third made it 3-1, but Coastal Alabama got three in its half to go ahead again.
The Bulldog bats were briefly silenced, but Parker woke them up with a three-run shot in the fifth. He closed out an 11-run inning with another three-run shot.
"It's not just the home runs," Batts said. "He's comfortable in the box, and he's hitting balls the other way. The thing I'm impressed with is he's doing a lot of this with two strikes."
Colby Cagle (So, West Harrison/Lizana) had an RBI single, Ike Williams (Fr, St. Martin/Biloxi) and Dylan Menhennett (So, Biloxi/Biloxi) had bases-loaded walks, and Davis drove in another run with an RBI single.
Josh Lewis (So, Theodore/Mobile Ala.) pitched 5.2 innings of four-hit ball to pick up his third win of the season.
"Josh had all his stuff working," Batts said. "We could have left him out to finish, but we wanted some other guys to get some work in."
In the second game, Butirich (R-Fr, St. Patrick/Biloxi) allowed only one hit in five innings. He struck out four batters.
"Blaise made his first start in two years," Batts said. "He's starting to get back in shape coming off surgery. He started getting tired there, which is understandable. He had really good stuff."
Preston Stringer (Fr, Stone/Perkinston) had three hits to lead the offense. Dustan Dille (Fr, Brookwood/Tuscaloosa, Ala.) had two hits, including a double, and two RBI. Williams and Fisher Ray also had two hits, and Davis doubled.
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