FULTON---A ninth inning rally came up one run short as Hinds defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College 6-5 Saturday to claim the 2012 MACJC Championship.
The Bulldogs (29-19) needed two wins over the Eagles Saturday after advancing to the title round after beating Jones and No. 7 ranked Itawamba in elimination games Friday.
Gulf Coast was down 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth but cut the lead to one on an RBI double by Daniel Miles, who’s hitting .462 in the post-season. However, the Eagles scooped up a Dieter Hamilton grounder for the game's final out.
“After the loss to Itawamba Thursday, we came back and knocked out the top two teams in the State yesterday, so I’m very proud of the way the team responded,” said Gulf Coast baseball coach Gary Rath. “We came up a run short against Hinds, but I like the way we’re playing right now.”
The Bulldogs fell behind Hinds 6-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth when Nick Boggs drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Hunter Frierson’s RBI single cut the Hinds advantage to 6-4. Boggs, Jody Harris, Daniel Miles and Michael Paul each had two hits for Gulf Coast in the team’s 11-hit attack. Justin Lee (1-1) started the game on the mound and took the loss while Chad Reeves, Jason McDonald, and Daniel Wineski combined to hold Hinds to one run over five innings.
Gulf Coast now looks ahead to next week’s Region 23 Tournament May 17-20 hosted by LSU-Eunice. Gulf Coast takes on the home-standing Bengals (49-4) Thursday at 7 p.m. LSU-E is currently ranked No. 1 in the latest NJCAA D-II poll and swept the Bulldogs in a doubleheader Mar. 10 at Perkinston 16-0 and 7-3.
“This team realizes it can play with anyone in the State and Region,” Rath added. “We’re going to rest up, then get back to work and get ready to go to Eunice next week.”