Webster’s dictionary defines the word “timely” as “done or occurring at a favorable or useful time; opportune. The right time”.
But one doesn’t have to read the description, you could just go see Gulfport play baseball.
Gulfport has won 11 out of its last 12 games on the baseball diamond. But the Admirals’ biggest victory to date came on Friday night.
Nicholas Williams blasted a monstrous solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie and guide Gulfport to a 4-3 win against visiting Brandon at Herbert Wilson Field. The win not only kept the Admirals unbeaten at 6-0 in the Class 6A playoffs but moved veteran head coach Jamie McMahon’s group into the Class 6A South State finals next week.
Williams’ round-tripper to dead center field over the elevated fence came after the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game up at 3-3 by scoring all of those runs in the top of the sixth.
It marked the third win in five days of the week for the Admirals, who opened the South State semifinal best-of-three series against Brandon with a 5-2 road win on Tuesday. That came a day after Gulfport ended a second round sweep of Warren Central with a 10-9 win at home on Monday.
Gulfport also got a key two-run home run from Dawson Hall on Friday night in the fourth frame to take a 2-0 advantage. The Admirals then made it 3-0 on an RBI-single by Jacob Palazzo that scored Prince Cotttingam all the way from first thanks to some nifty base running.
The Bulldogs, the Region 5-6A champion, then tallied all of their runs in the sixth stanza to knot the affair up, setting the stage for Williams’ game-winning heroics just minutes later.
Hall had two hits for Gulfport, including his two-run knock. Joel Smith added a double to the winning effort. K.K. Clark had two hits for Brandon, which eliminated Ocean Springs in a two game sweep last week to move on to the match-up with the Admirals. The Bulldogs finish the season at 23-8.
Ethan Supweic started and went five frames on the hill for GHS, before giving way to Cottingham who earned the win with two innings of relief work.
Gulfport moves to 23-11 on the season, and will now have home-field advantage in a match-up with defending Class 6A State champion Northwest Rankin with a trip to the state finals on the line. Game one is set for Tuesday night in Gulfport at 7 p.m.
The Cougars are also on a hot streak, winning 13 out of their last 14 games currently after dispatching Petal 4-2 Friday night. Northwest Rankin has also won six straight games in the postseason.
This will mark the third consecutive trip to the Class 6A South State finals for the Cougars, who defeated Desoto Central for the crown in three games last year.