On a chilly cold evening, the Gulf Coast Bulldogs took a swing at Jackson State Community College out of Tennessee, opening the 2016 baseball season at MGM Park in Biloxi.
In the fourth inning of game one, the Generals added to a 2-0 advantage. Chase Diggs dug the Bulldogs into a deeper hole with a two-run double to deep left center field.
After plating two runs on bases loaded walks, Gulf Coast tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Tyler Evans slammed a the ball past the Generals pitcher up the middle. Justin Smith and Michael Shubert galloped to home plate with the tying runs.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the 7th. Marcus Buckley stepped up to the plate with one out and hit a high fly ball into right field. The Jackson State fielder dropped the ball and threw out Buckley, but Andrew Ryals raced home with the games winning run.
Gulf Coast head coach Ronald Batts said, "We fell behind but I think we've got a resilient group that will fight tooth and nail and that's a big win. Anytime you can win on a walk off fashion is good, particularly the first win here at MGM, that's special."
Brandon Kennedy got the win by striking out the third batter in the top of the seventh, the only batter he faced. He was one of three relievers to pitch an out in the frame. The bullpen compiled 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The Bulldogs weren't so lucky in game two. Jackson State pulled out an 8-7 win in 8 innings.
Gulf Coast completed the first of 9 double-headers scheduled to be played at MGM Park, due to construction of the Bulldogs new baseball stadium in Perkinston.
Gulf Coast travels to Baton Rouge Community College on Mardi Gras day and return to MGM Park February 12 hosting St. Louis Community College.
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