EUNICE, La. — No. 18 Mississippi Gulf Coast got bounced into the loser's bracket Thursday at the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament, losing to No. 14 Meridian 13-5 in seven innings.
"We didn't play well at all in any aspect of the game," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "We just didn't show up and play. The biggest game of the year and we fell flat on our face out of the gate. We didn't pitch well. We didn't defend well with three errors the first two innings."
Gulf Coast (35-15) plays at noon Friday against the Itawamba, which lost a late-night, extra-inning game to host LSU-Eunice 5-4 in 11 innings. If the Bulldogs win, they would play LSU-Eunice at 6 p.m.
The 3 p.m. game will be an elimination game between Pearl River and Meridian.
Logan McGrew (So, Sumrall/Sumrall) had a two-out, two-run double in the first inning to give Gulf Coast a 2-1 lead. The Bulldogs didn't manage a whole lot of offense after, while Meridian scored in every inning.
Castor Lee's RBI single in the seventh made it 13-5, but the Bulldogs couldn't push another run across to avoid the eight-run rule.
Parker and Fisher Ray (Fr, George County/Bruce) each had two hits.
Meridian has won all three meetings between the teams this year, scoring 10 or more runs in each game. The Eagles had 18 hits Thursday.
"We've got to go back, regroup and refocus," Batts said. "Now it's win or go home. All we have to win is one game. We can't look past the first game. The game at noon is all we can worry about."
NJCAA Region 23 Tournament
Wednesday, May 16
Game 1: No. 4 Itawamba 4, No. 3 Meridian 3
Game 2: No. 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast 16, No. 2 Pearl River 6 (8 innings)
Game 3: No. 1 LSU-Eunice 10, No. 6 Hinds 0 (5 innings)
Thursday, May 17
Game 4: Pearl River 8, Hinds 4
Game 5: Meridian 13, Gulf Coast 5 (8 innings)
Game 6: LSU-Eunice 5, Itawamba 4 (11 innings)
Friday, May 18
Game 7: Gulf Coast (35-15) vs. Itawamba (33-16), noon
Game 8: Pearl River (38-10) vs. Meridian (37-12), 3 p.m.
Game 9: LSU-Eunice (52-5) vs. Game 7 winner, 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Game 10: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 20
If Necessary Game
Game 11: Game 10 winner vs. Game 10 loser, 1 p.m.
- Schedule may change after game 9 depending on number of one-loss teams.
- Winner advances to the 2018 NJCAA Division II World Series as the South District representative.
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