PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's Colby Cagle and Cullan O'Shea delivered the big hits in a Game 2 comeback, and the Bulldogs bullpen once again did its job to earn a split against Dyersburg State.
The Bulldogs scored five in the fifth to rally for an 8-7 win after their gloves deserted them in a seven-error 10-6 loss at Ken "Curly" Farris Field.
"They showed a little bit of heart and desire," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "You never want to leave here with splits, but if you split with a team like that after as bad as you play Game 1, that's a positive."
The Bulldogs took their first loss but they get to the 10-game milepost with nine wins. Dyersburg State, which played in the NJCAA Division I World Series last year and was ranked fifth in the preseason poll, is 6-4.
Gulf Coast kicked some balls around early and was behind 5-2 with two outs and two on in the third. Batts went to Jamarcus Lang (Fr, Hattiesburg/Hattiesburg), and he induced a groundball to end the threat. Batts called it the biggest out of the game.
Bailey Hargrave (R-So, Madison Central/Madison) came in to start the fifth, down 6-3 and he proceeded to roll three groundouts ahead of a Gulf Coast offensive explosion.
"I have a good feel for my slider almost every time I go out on the mound," said Hargrave, who got four groundouts and two strikeouts in two perfect innings. "I trust it anytime I throw it. My fastball had a lot of life, too. I got a couple of groundouts on fastballs, too."
Logan McGrew (So, Sumrall/Sumrall) hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly for their first run. After a groundout, Cagle (So, West Harrison/Lizana) hammered a down-and-in fastball off the top of the wall in left field to score two and tie it at 6.
"He hadn't really filled up the zone with any offspeed stuff, so I was just sitting fastball and reacting to curveball or offspeed," he said.
O'Shea greeted a fresh reliever by blasting a curveball over the right-field wall for the game-winner.
"I was just trying to find a gap in the field and score Colby from third," he said. "It shows the fight we have and shows what we can do against another good team."
Kole Kittrell (Fr, Greene County/State Line) earned the save for Hargrave's win.
In the opener, starter Ty Barnes (So, Petal/Petal) allowed only four hits in 5.1 innings, but the slew of errors cost him seven unearned runs out of the nine he was charged with.
Alden Davis (Fr, Pascagoula/Pascagoula) gave the Bulldogs a lead in the first with a two-run homer. He finished 3-for-3 and also had a double.
Brandon Parker (Fr, West Harrison/Saucier) tied Dylan Menhennett (So, Biloxi/Biloxi) for the national lead in home runs with his sixth of the season. The two-run shot came in the sixth inning, and the Bulldogs threatened in the seventh with a single and four walks to start the inning.
Menhennett got the RBI with a walk, and Davis hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-6. A double play, however, ended the threat.
"They're a really good team," Batts said. "They'll be as good as anybody on our schedule. We didn't play well the first game. Ty didn't pitch bad, and we swung the bats fairly well in spots, but when you give up seven errors that's too many opportunities for them."
Gulf Coast returns to action Tuesday at Coastal Alabama. First pitch in Bay Minette is at 1 p.m.
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