PERKINSTON — There was a weather delay to sit through, but Mississippi Gulf Coast snapped a six-game home conference losing streak Friday by sweeping East Mississippi.
The Bulldogs got more solid pitching and scored late to beat the Lions 7-0 and 10-2 at Ken "Curly" Farris Field. Play started 1 hour, 44 minutes late while waiting for storms to move through Stone County.
"It's very big," Bulldogs outfielder Tanner Estill said. "We've been struggling a little bit at home, but to get the conference sweep for our team and our fans here, we just love it."
Gulf Coast (23-11, 13-7 MACJC) moved to within two games of first-place Itawamba, which will play Copiah-Lincoln on Saturday. The Bulldogs are in fifth place, one game back of Northwest, Jones and Pearl River.
Dawson Hall (Fr., East Central/Hurley) was dominant on the mound in the first game, throwing eight innings of one-hit ball. He struck out nine to improve to 8-1.
"The changeup was working today. When you locate it low, it's deadly. You have to keep staying competitive."
Ike Williams (So., St. Martin/St. Martin) broke up the scoreless tie in the fourth with a sacrifice fly, then the Bulldogs made it 2-0 on a double-steal that forced an error.
Estill, a sophomore from Petal, doubled in a run in the sixth then had a two-run single in a four-run seventh.
"The coaches told us to stay positive and keep the energy up," he said. "After a rain delay, you can get down and lose the momentum. We stayed positive and found what we needed to win."
Estill went 3-for-3, and Brandon Parker also had three hits.
The Bulldog bats got a quick lead in the first inning of Game 2 when a run scored on a dropped third strike, but the bats went silent until the fifth. Parker broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run single up the middle.
Williams and Hancock had infield singles with two outs in the sixth to make it 5-1. Alden Davis (So., Pascagoula/Pascagoula) had an RBI single, and Cullan O'Shea (So., Mary G. Montgomery/Mobile Ala.) blasted a three-run shot to cap a seven-run inning.
After a 1-for-5 Game 1, Hancock had three hits in the nightcap.
"That pitcher got me off balance," he said. "In the second game, they had a guy who was throwing pretty good so I just tried to slow everything down. I got my foot down and tried to put it in play."
Williams, Davis and Parker had two hits each to help finish a sweep after the Bulldogs hadn't won a home conference game since March 30. Justin Lockey (Fr., Long Beach/Long Beach) picked up the win with an inning of hitless relief, improving to 4-1.
Gulf Coast hits the road, where the Bulldogs are 13-1, on Wednesday with a trip to Jones. First pitch in Ellisville is at 3 p.m.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.