Atlanta, GA (A-State) – The Arkansas State baseball team trailed 6-4 after three innings, but a six-run fourth inning by Georgia State blew the game open as the Panthers went on to win 16-7 and clinch the series victory Saturday afternoon at the GSU Baseball Complex in Atlanta.
A-State (11-15, 3-8 SBC) walked 13 batters and gave up 13 hits as starter Nate Alberius lasted only three innings. GSU (15-15, 4-6 SBC) also posted 13 hits and starter Jake Rogers went 5.2 innings to earn the win after he allowed four earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.
Georgia State jumped out to an early 6-0 advantage with three runs in each of the first two innings, the last three coming on a bases-clearing double by Nick Gatewood. However, the Red Wolves got on the board in the top of the third with a grand slam by Kyle MacDonald to make the score 6-4.
The momentum was short-lived for the visitors as GSU put up a six spot in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a grand slam from Luke Leonard. Bryan Ayers walked five in the frame to help the Panthers to the six runs. A-State was able to claw within 12-6 when Cullen Ray walked with the bases loaded and Grant Hawkins followed with a hit-by-pitch in the top of the sixth.
However, Georgia State created more separation with a four-run seventh to take a 16-6 lead before A-State scored one in the ninth on a single by Drew Tipton to set the final of 16-7.
The Red Wolves were led by MacDonald and Caleb Squire at the plate with two hits apiece. Leonard drove in five runs for the Panthers, while Gatewood knocked in three and also scored three runs.
Korey Wasson was a bright spot for A-State out of the bullpen as the true freshman only allowed one hit in 1.1 scoreless innings.
Arkansas State and Georgia State conclude the series Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (CT).