BILOXI – Mississippi Gulf Coast's Brandon Parker delivered the game-winning blow Saturday against Illinois Central in the Bulldogs' 4-3 win at MGM Park.
Parker's long shot to right-center forced an error by the Cougars and scored the winning run. The Bulldogs plated runs in the sixth and seventh to come back from a 3-2 deficit.
"It's awesome to get the W," Parker said. "That was a good comeback win. I'm proud of all our players for the way we fought back. Good things happen when you keep fighting."
Gulf Coast improved to 12-1 with the win and now has a five-game win streak. The Bulldogs took to the stands ahead of their game scheduled for 6 p.m. against Baton Rouge.
Illinois Central tied it in the second, then went ahead in the fifth, bringing in. Bailey Hargrave (R-So, Madison Central/Madison) from the bullpen.
He entered with one out and runners at the corner and walked the first batter on four pitches. The next pitch, however, was a picture-perfect double-play ground ball to get out of the jam.
Gulf Coast tied the game when Castor Lee (Fr, Gulfport/Gulfport) lashed an RBI double off the wall inside the left-field foul pole in the sixth.
Hargrave's two innings of scoreless relief went into the seventh, but he left after an error, a walk and a groundout put runners at the corners. Kole Kittrell (Fr, Greene County/State Line) got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
"Ty (Barnes) did not throw very well today. He left some balls up in the zone and got hit a little bit, but he did a good job keeping them in check," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "Our bullpen with Hargrave and Kittrell, they kept it there and gave us a chance to win."
Davis got hit by a pitch with one out, setting up Parker's heroics.
"He had some pitches to hit (earlier) and just tried to do too much with them," Batts said. "That last at-bat, he got a good pitch and put a good swing on it. He drove it out to right-center, it was a tough play for the center fielder. It was good to see him barrel the ball up like that in a tough situation."
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