The Gulfport High School baseball team has had the wind at its back all season and that was again the case Friday night.
The Admirals rolled to a 6-2 win over St. Martin on a blustery night to improve to 15-1 overall and 3-1 in Region 8-6A.
Gulfport junior Patrick Nelms improved to 3-1 with a complete-game performance. He gave up two unearned runs on four hits while striking out six and walking two in seven innings.
“I'm just working the fastball in early,” Nelms said. “My pitching coach likes to call the fastball and it's working so I just keep throwing it.”
Nelms extended his team's run to 23 consecutive innings without giving up an unearned run.
“He was good,” Gulfport coach Jamie McMahon said. “It was a windy night so he kept it down. He got them swinging early. He had his innings where he was really good. They put the ball in play. I told our kids the whole week that they put it in play and we've got to play defense. He did that tonight. He let them put it in play.”
Gulfport has won eight consecutive games with its only loss coming in a 4-0 defeat at Ocean Springs on March 10.
Senior center fielder Dillon Brown led the way out of the leadoff spot for Gulfport with a pair of hits, three runs scored and one RBI. Senior first baseman Ethan Saucier knocked in three runs on a 1-for-4 performance at the plate.
Junior shortstop Gabe Lacy, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI Friday, has been a big part of Gulfport's hot start of the season, making an impact in the field and at the plate.
While some are surprised by the Admirals' hot start, the players knew they had a shot at a special season.
“We knew what we were,” Lacy said. “We have a great bunch of guys. We just go out and compete every day.”
St. Martin dropped to 11-4 and 2-2 in region play despite getting a nice performance from senior center fielder and leadoff man Isaac Williams, who went 2-for-2 and had a pair of walks to reach base all four times at the plate.
Sophomore left-hander Matthew Thompson (4-1) took the loss for St. Martin, giving up one earned run on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Gulfport had a handful of wind-aided hits and St. Martin committed five errors.
“The sad part about it is it wasn't our best effort,” St. Martin coach Kary Bridges said. “This was a big ball game with two good teams. The way their pitcher threw they might have won anyway tonight. It's a shame we didn't play defensively the way we've been playing most of the year.”
Gulfport grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Saucier brought Brown home on an RBI groundout.
A pair of St. Martin fielding errors helped Gulfport push two across in the third inning to give the Admirals all the runs they would need for a 3-0 advantage.
St. Martin managed its only two runs in the fifth inning on an RBI groundout by Cameron Locke and and an RBI single by Leif Moore.