PERKINSTON — Tony Sipp left a lasting impression at Mississippi Gulf Coast during his year playing for the Bulldogs.
Sipp became the first former Mississippi Gulf Coast player to earn a World Series ring last week when the Houston Astros clinched their first-ever title. Former Gulf Coast coach Cooper Farris quickly brought up a sparkling performance among a host of them back in 2003.
"We played Pearl River over there," he said. "He was playing center field the first game, and I think he had three hits the first game. One of them was a home run to beat them. Then he pitched a one-hitter to beat them the second game. He kind of single-handedly beat them both games of a doubleheader."
Sipp had 11 strikeouts in that second game, as well as stealing two bases. The only thing Farris failed to mention, combing through the MGCCC Archives, was that Sipp picked up the save in Game 1.
Quite the day's work, to be sure. By the time Sipp had finished his work at Perkinston, he'd put together quite the resume by doing more of the same.
Leading the Bulldogs to the MACJC South title, he went 9-2 with a 1.45 ERA, striking out 135 batters in 75 innings while walking only 14. He hit .365 with six home runs.
Sipp, who played his high school ball at Moss Point, transferred to Gulf Coast after one season at Okaloosa-Walton Community College. He went on to play at Clemson, where he pitched and played outfield one season.
He played his first major-league game in 2009 and has pitched 526 games with a 22-19 record. Sipp averages better than a strikeout per inning.
"He's done well for himself. He played hard and practiced hard. He just liked being on the baseball field."
With the Astros this year, he pitched in 46 games before being sidelined with a calf injury. He was not on the postseason roster but celebrated with his teammates after three postseason series victories.
Current coach Rodney Batts has visited with Sipp in Houston and has texted with him during and after the World Series. He'd like to get him here to throw out a first pitch early next season before Sipp heads to training camp.
"What Tony has achieved is every kid's dream," Batts said. "Every kid dreams of playing pro ball, and now he's taken all he accomplished at Gulf Coast and not just played in the big leagues, he's won it all. And he's always represented Gulf Coast well."
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