MGCCC baseball continues on winning track
With the foundation in place, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College head baseball coach Gary Rath wants to keep adding more talent to the Bulldogs after another successful campaign in 2012.
MGCCC Pitcher Jarred Gates leads a young but talented pitching staff in 2013.
Last season the Bulldogs reached the post-season for the second straight year and swept Northeast in the first round of the MACJC Playoffs. Gulf Coast also finished second at the MACJC Tournament the following week at Itawamba and was ranked as high as No. 19 during the season. Three Bulldogs were all named to both the All-Region 23 First Team and the All-MACJC First Team while three other Bulldogs, were all named to the MACJC’S All-Second Team.
“Thirteen sophomores from last season went on to four year colleges,” Rath said. “We’ve got a great group of returning players this season and a huge amount of freshmen coming in to compete for playing time. The quantity and quality of our pitchers will be impressive.”
Rath and assistant coach Jake Long will be herding nearly 40 newcomers this spring along with the team’s core group, which includes starting pitcher and 2012 MACJC & Region 23 First Teamer Jarred Gates. Last season Gates went 9-4 with a 1.85 ERA and 82 strikeouts (5th in the NJCAA). Also back are starting pitcher Stuart Holmes (4-7, 4.23 ERA), reliever Jordan Mata (5-3, 3.63 ERA, 5 saves), shortstop Michael Gilbert (.293 batting avg., 18 RBI), and utility man Taylor Hardy (.273 batting avg.).
Among the incoming freshmen are pitcher Taylor Olsen and catcher Will Tomes, who as seniors helped lead Pascagoula to its first State baseball title since 1996. All-State selections Ryne Long (East Central), Tyler Quave (St. Martin), and Jacob Swiney (St. Martin) will compete alongside outfielder Kyle Clement (Jeanerette, LA), pitcher Kyle Cumlander (Mobile, AL), and Cameron Cochran (Gonzales, LA.) for playing time.
Gulf Coast continues spring practice and opens the 2013 season Saturday, Feb. 9 with a doubleheader at Jeff Davis C.C.
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