12 Apr

the other rivalry

You’ve heard about the rivalry series coming up this weekend. No, not that SEC skirmish in Oxford. The other one. Gulf Coast Athletic Conference rivals Rust and Tougaloo, jockeying for position in the conference tournament later this month, meet in a three-game set (Saturday-Sunday) at the Bulldogs’ Sanders Field (named for coach and ex-Jackson State star Earl Sanders). Rust, led by hot-hitting, base-swiping Malik Berrien, is 7-7 in the GCAC, in fourth place. Tougaloo, led by the sizzling bat of Khilan Magee, is 7-8. Tougaloo has lost 12 straight to Rust, last winning one in 2021. The GCAC now includes eight teams for baseball, with newcomer Southern-New Orleans joining Wiley (Texas), Talladega (Ala.), Dillard (La.), Philander Smith (Ark.) and Oakwood (Ala.) this year. Wiley leads the league with a 13-2 record. More expansion is on the horizon for the NAIA league, which will become the HBCU Athletic Conference in July. The GCAC Tournament starts April 24 at Jackson’s Smith-Wills Stadium.

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