PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast heads into the baseball postseason for the second straight season in somewhat familiar fashion.
The Bulldogs (26-16, 16-12 MACJC) head to Meridian (29-13, 18-10) for the NJCAA Region 23 qualifying series which starts Wednesday. First pitch in Game 1 is scheduled for 6 p.m.
"I hope it helps," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "It's kind of the same situation. You're going on the road to play a team that beat you twice earlier in the year. They know that doesn't matter. They've been here, and they know the ramifications of the series. You've got to win to move on."
Last year, the Bulldogs had lost twice in the regular season to Northwest, then went to Senatobia and swept to qualify for the regional.
Meridian won the two matchups in Perkinston this year on April 12. The Eagles won the first game 12-7 and the second 6-3. The Bulldogs led 3-1 after five innings in the first game, and 7-5 after four innings in the nightcap, which went to extra innings.
"We're going to have to execute," Batts said. "The two games we played them earlier in the year, I just think we didn't play very well. I thought we beat ourselves."
Gulf Coast made six errors that day and didn't score a run in 9.2 innings against the Meridian bullpen.
Game 2 will be played Thursday at a time to be decided later, with Game 3 immediately following, weather permitting.
"It's playoff time," Batts said. "Everybody starts over. Everybody's 0-0. It's a new time of year, and I know our guys will be ready and motivated for it."
NJCAA Region 23 Qualifying Series
Best-of-three series (Game 3 following immediately after Game 2, if necessary)
Game 1: (6) Gulf Coast vs. (5) Meridian, 6 p.m.
Game 1: (8) Northeast vs. (3) Northwest, 4 p.m.
Game 1: (7) East Central vs. (4) Pearl River, 6 p.m.
Game 1: (9) Hinds vs. (2) Jones, 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: (6) Gulf Coast vs. (5) Meridian, TBD
Game 2: (9) Hinds vs. (2) Jones, noon
Game 2: (7) East Central vs. (4) Pearl River, 2 p.m.
Game 2: (8) Northeast vs. (3) Northwest, 2 p.m.
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