PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Gulf Coast baseball coach Rodney Batts believes his signing class has a big upside.
"I think it's a great class, "stated Batts. "There are some really talented players in this group. It fills a lot of needs for us at just about every position. We've got some really good arms in the group, some good infielders, some catchers. I think they're going to bring a lot of talent to our group."
Five of the 10 signees are from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
D'Iberville pitcher Andrew Bird batted .298 last season and was 3-3 on the mound for the Warriors as a junior. He struck out 37 batters in 38.2 innings pitched.
Two Biloxi players signed with the Bulldogs. Infielder/outfielder Chase Lott batted .368 in 2014, with a .431 on-base percentage. Indians teammate Dylan Menhennett, an infielder, will join Lott in Perkinston next season.
St. Patrick catcher, Beau Bratton, carried a .333 batting average with two home runs in 15 games for the Fighting Irish as a junior. St. Patrick infielder/pitcher, Blaise Butirich batted .254 and posted a 3-0 record on the mound with a 1.34 ERA. He had 25 strikeouts in 15.2 innings.
Here's a list of the other Bulldogs signees:
*Ty Barnes/Right Handed Pitcher/Petal High School
*Jake Cowden/Infielder-RHP/Faith Academy (Mobile, Ala.)
*Evan Harless/Right Handed Pitcher/Bartlett (Tenn.)
*Jose Lewis/Infielder-RHP/Theordore (Ala.)
The Bulldogs open the season February 5 against Jackson State community College with the first of nine dates at MGM Park in Biloxi. Mississippi Gulf Coast is building a new stadium on the Perkinston Campus and that's the reason why the Bulldogs will be playing its home games at non-campus locations in 2016.
The new stadium at Ken "Curly" Farris Field will officially open for the 2017 season.