MGM Park opens gates for first baseball game of 2017 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MGM Park opens gates for first baseball game of 2017

Spencer Battles with Overtime Sports finds plenty to smile about before the first game of 2017. (Photo source: WLOX) Spencer Battles with Overtime Sports finds plenty to smile about before the first game of 2017. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

It’s time to play ball! On Friday, MGM Park in Biloxi opened its gates for the first baseball game of 2017. For those who get the stadium ready, there are plenty of opening day jitters and excitement.

The tickets are moving fast for the first game, and so is Spencer Battles. This is the first full season for the Overtime Sports box office manager.

“I’m excited,” Battles said. “I’ve been waiting a whole year to really kick this thing off, and today is finally D-Day for me.”

The game between Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Mineral Area Cardinals of Missouri may not be the biggest game at MGM Park this season, but it’s one of the most important. Just like a baseball team first stepping onto the diamond, Overtime Sports is working off a little rust to get things going.

“Organized chaos is a perfect example,” Battles said. “We’re pulling together schools. We’re actually learning a new system here at MGM Park for Overtime Sports, which is Ticketfly. We’re going to continue going through our growth spurts.”

Not only is Battles getting ready for the first game, but he’s also preparing for all the non-Shuckers games MGM Park will host for the season.

“We got these kids coming in. They want to express their love for the game. We’re here at MGM Park. It’s a beautiful park. It’s a professional atmosphere. These guys are getting to play and probably live out their dreams here.”

On the field, the work is more fine tuning for groundskeeper Will Lairamore. It’s a year-round job, but the game day preparations began early this week.

“Off season is great, because it’s a good time to recharge your batteries and everything. But, after a while, you kind of get the itch that you want to see some baseball again. So, it’s nice to have baseball back,” said Lairamore.

Just like the teams who play, there are a few opening day jitters.

“I’ll have a little bit of butterflies making sure everything went smooth and all that, but about the second or third inning, I’ll calm down and just watch baseball,” said Lairamore.

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