PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast wrapped up its regular season Saturday with a split on its Sophomore Day, dropping Game 1 to Northeast 11-1 in seven innings before claiming the second 6-2.
The Bulldogs (32-14, 16-12 MACJC) will finish seventh in the conference.
"All the unknowns have been covered," Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said. "We know they're ready for the playoffs. We came out flat the first game, but everything they've worked for all year, it's come to a head. Everybody starts over. It's 0-0. No matter who we play, we're going to be ready to play."
The postseason begins Thursday with a two-day, best-of-three series. Gulf Coast will be on the road, against Meridian or Northwest.
The Bulldogs won seven of their last eight games.
"There's been some highs and lows," Gulf Coast catcher Logan McGrew said. "We've finally gotten it figured out these last eight games. We started playing well and putting it together. Hopefully, we carry that into the playoffs."
McGrew (So, Sumrall/Sumrall) had two RBI in the second game, and Kole Kittrell (Fr, Greene County/State Line) turned in another sterling performance.
Coming off a no-hitter his last time out, he allowed only one hit through five innings. He left after six, giving up three hits and two runs. Kittrell struck out seven and walked three.
"That was a big performance by Kole," Batts said. "After the loss, we get some momentum back in our last regular-season game and get the bad taste out of our mouths."
Alden Davis (Fr, Pascagoula/Pascagoula) had three hits in the second game.
"Alden swung the bat well all day," Batts said. "Even Game 1, where he didn't have a lot to show for it, he hit the ball on the nose."
Gulf Coast managed only six hits in the opener, with Chase Fagan (R-So, Hancock/Poplarville) providing the only run with a solo home run. Since returning from an injury eight games ago, he is batting .462 with two home runs.
Northeast (22-21, 13-15) clinched a playoff spot with the win in Game 1.
In addition to honoring the entire sophomore class before the game, left-handed pitcher Josh Lewis (So, Theodore/Mobile Ala.) was named the winner of the Randy Rouse Award. The award honors Rouse, a Gulf Coast baseball player who died of leukemia in 1992. The award is voted on by the team and is given to the sophomore who best exemplifies sportsmanship, unselfishness, and loyalty.
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