PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's real baseball season begins Sunday, when the Bulldogs travel to open the MACJC schedule against Coahoma.
"You start over 0-0 Saturday," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "It's a clean slate and everything is on the line. Now you start playing for a state championship Saturday."
First pitch is scheduled for noon, with the games being played on the CCC campus in Clarksdale or at Magnolia Heights High School in Senatobia.
Brandon Parker (So., West Harrison/Saucier), the returning NJCAA Division II Player of the Year, is eight in the country with five home runs. He's riding a seven-game hitting streak. Cullan O'Shea (So., Mary G. Montgomery/Mobile Ala.) leads the team with 18 RBI and a .429 batting average.
On the mound, Dawson Hall (Fr., East Central/Hurley) is 10th in the NJCAA with a 12.12 strikeout/nine inning average among pitchers who have thrown 20 or more innings. He's 3-0 and didn't allow a hit in four innings in a start at Nunez on Wednesday.
"I wish we'd played a full non-conference schedule, but there's nothing you can do about that because of the rain and all that," Batts said. "I feel good with where we are. We swung the bats well during this 12-game stretch, and we've pitched well in spots."
Coahoma comes into the MACJC portion of the schedule with a 14-4 record, and the Tigers have gone 1-1 in non-conference play against conference foes Northwest and Mississippi Delta.
Gulf Coast has rebounded from a rocky 1-4 start that included opening games against top NJCAA Division I schools Jefferson College and Northwest Florida State.
"Anytime you roll off seven in a row, it gives you a little bit of confidence and momentum, particularly going into conference play," Batts said. "Hopefully our guys feel good about that and it carries over into conference."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College