Junior Colleges

Gulf Coast wins 5th straight, sweeps Coahoma

Mississippi Gulf Coast swept Coahoma at MGM Park, to give second-year coach Rodney Batts his longest winning streak.

More importantly, the Bulldogs' 5-4 and 17-0 wins propelled them into a second-place tie in the MACJC a quarter of the way through the season.

"Our guys played really well today," he said. "We've won five in a row and have some momentum. We've got some confidence. Going to the plate and on the mound, it's all about confidence."

Gulf Coast improved to 15-7, 6-2 in the MACJC. The Bulldogs are tied with Meridian for second, a game behind Jones County.

Coahoma falls to 10-17-1, 4-6.

Brian Lane continued his hot streak with two more 2-for-3 outings, and fellow Delta State signee Justin Nussbaum hit a grand slam and drove in seven runs in the nightcap.

Tyler Rachel gave the Bulldogs another strong start. He allowed three earned runs in 6.1 innings for his first win in his third appearance. Rachel was inserted into the rotation after not having pitched last fall or early in the season.

"I always wanted to pitch, have always pitched really good," he said. "It feels really good to be back on the mound again."

Gulf Coast dug Rachel a 2-0 hole in the first inning of the opener, making three errors to aid the Coahoma cause.

But the second time through the order, the Bulldogs tied it up at 2 in the third inning. Marcus Buckley walked, and Nussbaum singled to open the inning. Slater McCarty's sacrifice fly and Lane's single tied it up.

Ian Goff gave Gulf Coast the lead with a RBI single in the sixth, and Chase Rhodes drove in two more with a single.

Coahoma got two in the seventh, but Ethan Necaise came in and got a bases-loaded double play to get out of the inning. Brandon McCarty pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

Goff and Lane finished 2-for-3.

Dylan Mills-Derouen, who missed last year after Tommy John surgery, got his third straight strong start in the second game, improving to 2-1. He needed only 34 pitches to get through the first three innings, finishing with six strikeouts and two walks in 4.1 innings.

"That's three straight starts from him where he's had all his stuff working," Batts said. "He was mentally focused."

Early in the year, he struggled with control. Mills-Derouen walked 16 in his first 15.1 innings.

"It's just getting my confidence back," he said. "It's the beauty of baseball. You have your rough outings, and you have your good outings."

Buckley, Lane and Burge had two hits each in the second game. Burge drove in two runs, but Nussbaum provided the big stats.

He had an RBI single in the first inning of the second game, and a two-run triple in the third before swatting his grand slam in a seven-run fourth.

Nussbaum said he couldn't remember ever having a seven-RBI game, but the standings are more important to him.

"Being second is OK now, but we want to win it all," he said. "We want to be No. 1."