MGCCC baseball to host MACJC playoff series
PERKINSTON---A few weeks ago, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was fighting for its playoff life and grinding toward a second straight trip to the post-season.
Michael Paul leads the team with a .404 batting average in 2012.
Now, thanks to a 6-1 record to close the season, a loss by Hinds, and a good call on a coin flip, the Bulldogs (25-17, 13-11) are the MACJC South Division’s No. 2 seed and hosting North Division No. 3 seed Northeast (16-28, 13-10) in the first round of the MACJC Playoffs at Ken “Curly” Farris Field.
The best-of-three series begins with game one Saturday at 6 p.m. followed by game two Sunday at 2 p.m. If a game three is necessary, it will be played immediately following game two.
“It’s good to be at home,” said Gary Rath, who’s in his third season as Gulf Coast head baseball coach. “We will be well prepared for this series.”
The Bulldogs jumped to the No. 2 seed when Hinds lost a make up game Apr. 30 to Jones. That forced a tie breaking coin flip between Gulf Coast and Hinds for the No. 2 seed, which was won by the Bulldogs.
Gulf Coast is led on offense by sophomore Ben Slaton, whose 12 homeruns in 2012 ranks him seventh among the NJCAA’s D-II leaders. Slaton’s .363 batting average is third best among the team’s starters behind fellow sophomores Daniel Miles (.387 avg., 5 HR, 22 RBI) and Michael Paul (.404 avg., 6 HR, 28 RBI).
The Bulldogs pitching begins with the one-two punch of freshman Jarred Gates (8-3, 1.59 ERA, 71 strikeouts) and sophomore Tyler Bray (7-4, 2.22 ERA). Reliever Daniel Wineski is 6-for-6 in save opportunities while Jordan Mata has saved five games in five tries.
It’s the second straight trip to the post-season for Gulf Coast after sweeping Itawamba in this same opening round in 2011.
“The guys really stepped up down the stretch to get us into this position,” Rath added. “Now we have to come out focused because anything can happen in the playoffs.”
The winner of this series advances to the MACJC Tournament May 10-12 at a site to be determined. Other MACJC playoff series feature South No. 4 seed East Central at North No. 1 Itawamba, South No. 3 Hinds at North No. 2 Northwest, and North No. 4 Miss. Delta at South No. 1 Jones.
StoriesMGCCC’S Clement, Cochran earn All-MACJC honors
MGCCC’S Clement, Cochran earn All-MACJC honors
MGCCC baseball to hold open tryouts
MGCCC baseball falls at Northeast
MGCCC baseball upends Northeast in MACJC Playoffs
MGCCC baseball series moved to Saturday/Sunday
MGCCC baseball headed back to post-season
MGCCC baseball splits with East Central
MGCCC baseball splits at Southwest
MGCCC baseball splits at Jones
Other Bulldog News• D'Haquille Williams decommits from LSU
• Could be more to high school state tests than meets the eye
• Auburn Football: Gus Malzahn's Recruiting Bodes Well for Tigers' Future
• In the FCS Huddle: The next step is hardest
• No excuse for boredom this summer
• Propst pleased with turnout of rising ninth-graders
• D'haquille Williams to LSU: Tigers Reportedly Land 5-Star JUCO WR Prospect
• Derrick Moncrief Commits to Auburn: Tigers Land No. 1 JUCO Safety
• LSU Football Recruiting 2014: Updates on Commits, Visits and Offers
• Pascagoula mom mourns son lost in river accident