BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Opening day for the Biloxi Shuckers is still a couple of months away, but later this week the second year of baseball at MGM Park begins.
It may not have been perfect baseball weather on Tuesday, but the wind and fog didn't keep the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs from enjoying their first practice at the home of the Shuckers.
"I walked in and it was just this beautiful place and it's just a blessing that we get to play here," said Brian Lane, MGCCC Sophomore Catcher.
MGCCC is playing all 18 home games this season at MGM Park. The Bulldogs needed a place to play since a new stadium on campus in Perkinston won't be ready until next season.
"Initially we wanted to play a couple of games here," said MGCCC Head Coach Rodney Batts. "When we brought it to their attention they were fortunate and lucky enough for us they wanted to host our whole schedule."
Overtime Sports has agreed to let the Bulldogs play at MGM Park free of charge. The group that manages the stadium will also staff the games, but keep the money made from ticket sales.
Sophomore Shortstop Justin Nussbaum thinks taking the field in a professional stadium like this will help his game.
"Once I saw this, it just kind of made just think about the future and just how much I want to do this and how awesome it is to do this every day," said Nussbaum.
After this season is over and the Bulldogs' new stadium is complete, Coach Rodney Batts is still planning to bring his team to MGM Park several times a year.
"Having the opportunity to come here a couple of times a year and play in a double-A ballpark is certainly exciting to them and I think it has helped us in recruiting," said Batts.
The Bulldogs' first action in MGM Park will be Friday with a double header starting at 4:00 p.m. In addition to the 18 MGCCC games, the stadium is set to host seven other college baseball games featuring eleven teams including Mississippi State, Southern Miss, and Jackson State.
For the complete MGCCC baseball schedule follow this link: http://mgcccbulldogs.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/schedule