PERKINSTON — Sloppy defense doomed No. 14 Mississippi Gulf Coast on Friday against top NJCAA Division I squad Northwest Florida State. The Bulldogs committed eight errors that paved the way to eight unearned runs in a 10-9 loss in 10 innings in Game 1 and a 7-3 loss in a regulation seven-inning Game 2.
The Bulldogs (1-3) slugged four home runs on the day at Ken "Curly" Farris Field, while the Raiders (9-3) hit three.
Twice in the opening game, Gulf Coast erased one-run deficits to extend the game. Fisher Ray (So., George County/Bruce) delivered a two-out RBI single in the seventh to tie the game at 7, and Nick Sims (Fr., New Hope/New Hope) did the same in the ninth to tie it at 8.
Tanner Estill (So., Petal/Petal) lofted a leadoff home run in the bottom of the frame, but the Bulldogs wouldn't get any closer.
Parker also had a diving catch in the top of the seventh that doubled a runner off first to squelch a rally. His two-run home run in the third inning gave Gulf Coast a 5-2 lead, and Lee's sacrifice fly later in the inning gave the Bulldogs a four-run cushion.
NWFS made it 6-5 in the fourth, then took the lead on a two-out, two-run homer in the sixth.
Gulf Coast battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the second game with a three-run third, thanks to Lee solo home run and Parker's two-run triple with two outs.
Northwest Florida tied it with a solo home run in the fourth, then scored three unearned runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.
Gulf Coast returns to action Wednesday with its first road games of the season. A doubleheader in Bay Minette against Coastal Alabama-South is set to start at 2 p.m.
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