MGM Park is officially open for business. The 2018 season began with a high school baseball game sending the Gulfport Admirals against the Vancleave Bulldogs. It gave the young men a golden opportunity to play in a Double-A baseball stadium, the home of the Biloxi Shuckers.
It was a rematch of Tuesday's game between the Admirals and Bulldogs. Gulfport won that game 10-9.
Thursday's game was another nail biter. Vancleave pitcher Hayden Robb started off the top of the first inning by striking out the side.
Gulfport would strike for a run in the top of the second. With a runner on second base, Lawson Holden belted a deep shot into the right center field gap. Dylan Ladner raced home to give the Admirals the early lead.
Gulfport added two more runs in the top of the third. Gabe Lacy drove the ball through the right side of the in field, Patrick Nelms gave the Admirals a 2-1 advantage.
Ladner ripped a pitch to the Bulldogs third baseman. The throw to home plate was in time, but the catcher dropped the ball. The home plate umpire Ladner out. The umpire would confer and reversed his decision and called Ladner safe giving the Admirals a 3-0 lead.
Bottom of the third Vancleave senior Colton Hipp drove the pitch to deep left center field. Hipp slid safely into third base with a triple.
Bailee Hendon, who hit just under .400 last season, belted a single into left field. Hipp closed the Admirals gap 3 to 1.
Vancleave's Justin Stokes stroked a triple to the wall in right center field. Evan Keith galloped home and the Bulldogs trailed 3-2.
Vancleave would threaten to tie or to win the game, but the Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. Gulfport held off Vancleave 3-2.
Both the Admirals and Bulldogs have plenty of talent and they will be contenders in their respective divisions this season.
High school baseball returns to MGM Park 7 p.m. Friday night. Biloxi and rival D'Iberville will meet. Tickets are $10.50.
Other games: Jackson Academy 6 Ocean Springs 5, St. Patrick beat Lamar Christian 6-4, Pascagoula 8 East Central 4, Oak Grove and Harrison Central were tied 7-7 in the top of the 9th, D'Iberville 7 South Jones 2 and Christian Collegiate Academy beat Laurel Christian 5-4.
High school softball: Pascagoula 17 Biloxi 10, Pass Christian beat D'Iberville 6-4, Poplarville 5 Bay High 2, Pearl River Central over Long Beach 10-2, and Gulfport's Whitney Seymour stepped up to the plate and belted the game winning RBI in the bottom of the 8th to propel the Lady Admirals past Vancleave 1-0.
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