PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast rallied from six runs down after two innings at Baton Rouge to win Game 1 and go on to sweep the Bears 9-8 and 8-6 on Saturday.
"Overall, we played OK, but not great," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "We played like we hadn't played in a week. We swung the bats well at times, and at other times not so well."
Cullan O'Shea (So., Mary G. Montgomery/Mobile Ala.) had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning of the first game, clearing the bases with a double. Brandon Parker (So., West Harrison/Saucier) hit a home run in each game, and he was intentionally walked to load the bases ahead of O'Shea's hit.
That delivered a well-earned win to Tyler Hoffman (Fr., Mobile Christian/Mobile Ala.), who entered in the third inning down 8-2. He rebounded from a rough outing last time out to post seven innings of shutout ball to let the Bulldogs get back in the game. He struck out four, walked one and allowed only two hits.
"He was really good today," Batts said. "He had good stuff. It's good for him. The last time out he didn't throw very well. It was good to see him bounce back."
Dee Hawthorne (Fr., Harrison Central/Gulfport) homered in the fifth inning to start the comeback, and Parker blasted a two-run shot later in the inning. Matt Inlow (So., Pascagoula/Pascagoula) hit a solo homer in the eighth to set up the ninth-inning fireworks.
Williams scored on an error in the sixth to break a 5-5 tie, and his seventh-inning single drove in two important insurance runs.
Truitt Smith (So., Stone/Wiggins) started and gave the Bulldogs 4.1 strong inning, and Justin Lockey picked up his second win of the season going the rest of the way, striking out four and allowing one run on one hit.
Gulf Coast improved to 6-4, and Baton Rouge is now 7-20.
The Bulldogs return to action Wednesday when they travel to Chalmette, La., to play Nunez. The doubleheader starts at 4 p.m.
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