SCHEDULE UPDATE: Game 2 at Appalachian State is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday. Weather permitting, Game 3 will immediately follow.
What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State survived a four-hour rain delay to outlast Appalachian State 8-6.
* After the delay, Hunter Gaddis and Tanner Thomson allowed just two earned runs and combined for 11 strikeouts.
* Will Kilgore hit a two-run homer and Ryan Blanton had a three-run triple to pace the offense.
BOONE, N.C. -- Georgia State survived a four-hour rain delay to outlast Appalachian State 8-6 in Friday's Sun Belt Conference series opener at Smith Stadium.
After the delay, Hunter Gaddis and Tanner Thomson allowed just two earned runs and combined for 11 strikeouts, Will Kilgore hit a two-run homer and Ryan Blanton had a three-run triple for the Panthers (14-23, 4-12).
The teams moved their start time up to 4 p.m. but played less than one full inning when the game was stopped by lighnting with one out in the bottom of the first. After several more lightning strikes and then rain, the game finally resumed at 8:30 p.m.
The long delay forced out the starting pitchers as both teams turned to their Saturday starter.
After App State (14-24, 4-12) quickly scored three runs in the resumption of the first inning, Georgia State took its first lead with a four-run third inning. Payton Mann led off with a walk, and then Kilgore belted a two-run homer to left field, his fourth homer of the season.
With still no outs, Jaylen Woullard singled, and Blanton executed a hit-and-run single to put runners at first and third. Then Justin Jones smacked a double to right center to score both runs and put the Panthers up 4-3.
But the Mountaineers answered with two unearned runs in the bottom of the third regain the lead 5-4
The Panthers moved aheda for good with a two-out rally in the sixth. After Mann singled and Kilgore walked, Woullard swung at the third strike but reached on a passed ball to load the bases. Then Blanton cleared the bases with a triple to left center, his fourth triple of the season and the 11th of his career. The senior center fielder is not tied for second in GSU history in triples.
Blanton then scored on a balk for an 8-5 advantage.
App State inched closer with a run in the seventh. The Mountaineers had runners at second and third with two outs when Thomson came on and struck out Conner Leonard to end the threat.
The next inning, App State put runners at first and second with no outs, but Thomson retired the next three on a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball. The junior right-hander added two more strikeouts in the ninth, again fanning Leonard to end the game and earn his first save. Thomson finished with five strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings.
After taking over for Bryce Conley Gaddis (4-3) pitched 6.1 innings allowed four runs but only two earned on seven hits. He struck out six and walked just one.
"It was a very long day, and I really want to credit Hunter Gaddis," head coach Greg Frady said. "We put him in a really difficult situation as a young guy, but he stepped up and performed like we needed him to. He's just been a really valuable pitcher for us all season. But I also want to congratulate Tanner Thomson. He came in and pitched very effectively to get the game closed out.
"The story of the game was that we had two offensive innings and we maximized our opportunity in both of them," Frady continued. "Tonight we did get timely hits, we played good offense and we pitched to win."
Colin Schmid (5-5), who relieved starter Travis Holden after the delay, took the loss for App State.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday. The teams will play Game 3 immediately following, weather permitting.