Rust College made an impressive run to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular season title. Run is the operative word here. The Bearcats (21-21 overall, 14-4 GCAC) have stolen 200 bases as they charge into the league tournament, slated to begin today at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson. Rust has nine players with 10 or more steals, led by Jesse Burton III with 31 and Malik Berrien with 29. The top hitters are Jalin Thomas, raking at .379 with eight homers, and Khalil Robinson, .357 with 11 bombs. The pitching hasn’t been as sharp (7.31 staff ERA), but Xavier Campbell emerged as a weapon out of the bullpen with four wins and a save in 11 appearances. Second-year coach John Bates has quickly built a competitive team with players from all over the South; last year’s club ended a streak of 17 straight losing seasons. The Bearcats are the top seed in the six-team GCAC tourney and are hopeful of an NAIA Tournament bid. The team already has been invited to the Black College World Series in Montgomery, Ala., in mid-May. Tougaloo (9-32, 6-11), coached be ex-Jackson State star Earl Sanders, is also in the GCAC field and opens today against Philander Smith, with the winner meeting Rust on Friday. P.S. The MACCC regular season concludes on Friday. The top four teams in the standings are ranked in the NJCAA Division II Top 20. First-place and 15th-ranked East Central (22-4 in the league) finishes with East Mississippi; No. 5 Meridian (20-6) hosts Mississippi Delta; No. 3 Pearl River (19-7) is at Northwest; and No. 18 Itawamba (19-7) is at Jones College. The postseason begins next week. … Belhaven University has finished its regular season and is awaiting its assignment in the Collegiate Conference of the South postseason. The Blazers went 20-16, 12-5 (second) in the new NCAA Division III conference. Brett Sanchez and Dawson Albin were named the CCS pitcher and player of the week on Monday.