Two 7th-inning blasts earn Gulf Coast split

Two 7th-inning blasts earn Gulf Coast split

PERKINSTON — Two outs away from a sweep at the hands of Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast got two-run home runs from Noah Blythe and Dawson Walters to tie and beat the Bobcats in the nightcap of the doubleheader.


"The guy they threw was really good, so our hat's off to him," Gulf Coast coach Wes Thigpen said. "We had a plan, and those guys executed it. They got them to a high pitch count late, got the pitches they needed and capitalized off them."


The Bulldogs had only one hit entering the seventh but got two huge ones to win 4-2 on Thursday at Ken "Curly" Farris Field. The Bobcats won the opener 10-8.


Gulf Coast is now 13-11 overall, 10-6 in MACCC play. The Bulldogs are in fifth place in the conference, a game ahead of Jones (16-14, 9-7).


P.J. Harrison (Fr., Gulfport/Harrison Central) walked to lead off the seventh inning, and Blythe (Fr., Lexington, Ky./Tates Creek) stepped to the plate after a strikeout. He got to a 1-1 count, then fouled off three pitches before yanking a homer to left to tie the game at 2.


Connor Holliman (Fr., Gulfport/St. Patrick) coaxed a full-count walk to bring up Walters. His fly ball on a 1-2 pitch cleared the right-field wall for the game-winner.


"Dawson hit it well," Thigpen said. "It was a no-doubter off the bat."


Drake Henderson (Fr., Sand Hill/Greene County) kept the Bulldogs in the game. He struck out nine without walking anybody in seven innings of work, scattering eight hits and giving up just one earned run.


"The way he competes is really special," Thigpen said. "He had his three-pitch mix going, and his fastball velocity was up a little bit. He just willed himself to the win."


Gulf Coast made seven errors in the first game, leading to six unearned runs.


Luke Welborn (Fr., Locust Grove Ga./Locust Grove) went 4-for-5 with three RBI, including a solo homer to lead off the ninth to pull the Bulldogs within two. Blythe and Canaan Ray (Fr., Poplarville/Poplarville) had two hits each, and Alex McWhorter had an RBI double.


Gulf Coast returns to action Wednesday when Southwest Mississippi visits Perkinston. First pitch is at 3 p.m.


For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to

BY: Don Hammack
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College