BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will not play a regular season baseball game at MGM Park in 2018. Neither will Ole Miss or Jackson State. Those three schools all played baseball in Biloxi during the 2017 regular season.
Instead, Mississippi State will come to MGM Park for a March 14 doubleheader against William Carey and Southeast Louisiana.
Tim Bennett heads up Overtime Sports, the company that books events at MGM Park when the Shuckers aren't playing there. "Obviously we'd like to have more Division 1," Bennett said. "I would say this is just an off year. The more Division 1 we can get, the better."
Overtime Sports released its 2018 baseball schedule Thursday. It has seven dates in March when it booked baseball game at MGM Park. Most of the games are high school contests. Gulfport and Vancleave play March 1. Biloxi and D'Iberville play March 2. Rivals Moss Point and Pascagoula play March 24. The high school schedule includes a weekend Battle at the Beach tournament March 16-17. "I think we've done better on the local level," Bennett said. "I'm enthused by the number of local games we have. I think that bodes well."
The Gulf Coast Bulldogs come to Biloxi and participate in a tripleheader on March 3.
The 2018 schedule concludes with the CUSA baseball tournament May 23-27. Last year, Southern Miss played in the title game in front of a packed house.
A year ago, Overtime Sports booked five Division 1 baseball games during the regular season. Southern Miss played at MGM Park twice. So did Jackson State. And Ole Miss hosted one game in downtown Biloxi.
Bennett said talks have already started to get USM, Jackson State and South Alabama at MGM Park in 2019.