Josh Cary's six-RBI game in the opener and Drake Henderson's 10-strikeout performance in the nightcap Saturday propelled Mississippi Gulf Coast to a sweep of No. 11 Northeast Mississippi at Booneville.
The Bulldogs got it done two different ways, winning 13-10 in a slugfest and 3-2 in a pitchers' duel.
"It's our first conference doubleheader and we stayed in a hotel Friday night," Gulf Coast coach Wes Thigpen said. "The guys showed a lot of maturity coming up here and taking care of business. I thought our team competed very, very well today."
Gulf Coast improved to 5-5 with two wins in the first MACCC conference games of the season. Northeast falls to 7-5.
Josh Cary (Fr., Petal/Petal) had a three-run triple in the third, a single in the seventh, an RBI single in the eighth and a two-run double in the ninth.
"He came up with two huge hits for us with the bases loaded," Thigpen said. "He's such a competitive kid and just wills himself to get it done. He came to the plate in some big situations and just thrived, that's for sure."
The Bulldogs saw a 5-2 lead turn into a deficit in a five-run NEMCC fifth. They trailed 9-6 in the eighth before Cary singled in a run. Alex McWhorter drew a bases-loaded walk before a two-run error on a ground ball by Henderson. The Bulldogs make it 11-9 with a double steal.
After a solo homer by the Tigers, Cary pushed across the final runs with a two-out, bases-loaded double.
"I don't think we played our best baseball up and down the lineup, by any means, but it was that Get-It-To-The-Next-Guy Mentality," said Thigpen.
P.J. Harrison (Fr., Gulfport/Harrison Central) had a double, a home run and scored four times. Walters reached base four times and scored three times.
The second game was all about Henderson (2-1). He struck out five straight in the second and third innings and finished 10 K's in six innings of work. He allowed only three hits and a walk, and one of the three runs allowed was unearned.
Dawson Flowers picked up the save.
Cary doubled to lead off the second game and scored on McWhorter's sac fly. Walters had an RBI single in the second inning and scored on Cary's groundout.
That was all Henderson (Fr., Sand Hill/Greene County) would need.
"We have a lot of confidence in Drake," Thigpen said. "He's one of the best competitors I've coached, like Josh Cary. No matter what, you know you're going to get his best."
Gulf Coast will lift weight Sunday with one eye on the forecast. The Bulldogs are scheduled to entertain No. 9 Hinds on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
By: Don Hammack
Sports Information Director