What You Need to Know:
• Georgia State defeated No. 23 South Alabama 7-4 in the completion of a suspended game, the Panthers' first win over a ranked foe since 2014.
• USA won 2-1 in the series finale to win the series, 2-1.
• Senior pitcher Garrett Ford earned the win, and allowed just one earned run in seven innings over two games and two days.
ATLANTA -- Georgia State earned a 7-4 victory over Sun Belt leader and No. 23-ranked South Alabama Sunday morning in the completion of a suspended game, but the Jaguars came back to win 2-1 in Game 3 to take the series.
The win is GSU's first over a ranked team since the Panthers' 2014 victory at Ole Miss.
Senior left-hander Garrett Ford was the standout for Georgia State (20-23, 8-13 Sun Belt) as he pitched seven innings in the two games across both days, allowing just one earned run on six hits, including the victory in Game 2. At the plate, freshman Darius Sewell was 5-for-7 with an RBI in the two games, and Justin Jones had three hits and three RBI.
The teams endured three weather delays and a suspension to complete the series. On Saturday, the first pitch of Game 2 of the series was delayed 1:01, and the game was interrupted in the bottom of the fifth inning for 1:02, resumed from 5:25 p.m. until 6:07 and then suspended. After the teams completed Game 2 Sunday morning, there was another 36 minute delay during Game 3.
South Alabama improved to 33-12, 18-3 in the Sun Belt.
Georgia State 7, South Alabama 4
Trailing 4-1, Georgia State exploded for six runs in the sixth inning en route to a 7-4 victory over No. 23 South Alabama, evening the series at one game apiece. The teams played 5-2/3 innings Saturday, including two weather delays, and then completed the game Sunday morning.
Justin Jones' three-run double was the key blow in the sixth, and senior left-hander Garrett Ford finished the game with four innings to earn the win in relief.
Ford (3-4) came on to start the sixth inning and allowed just one unearned run as South Alabama too a 4-1 lead. He pitched four innings across both days, giving up just four hits and no walks while striking out two.
James Clements and Darius Sewell led off the bottom of the sixth with singles, then Jack Thompson walked to load the bases. With one out, Brandon Gonzalez and Ryan Blanton drew bases-loaded walks to pull GSU within 4-3. Then Jones lined the first pitch from reliever Ryne Long into left center for a bases-clearing double to put the Panthers ahead. Joey Roach added an RBI-single for a 7-4 lead.
With two outs and Roach still at first, the game was stopped and ultimately suspended. When the game resumed Sunday morning, Ford came back to pitch the final three frames, allowing just a single in the seventh and one in the ninth.
Georgia State scored first with an unearned run in the first. Blanton drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice by Jones, his ninth of the season and the 22nd of his career. Blanton tagged up on Roach's fly ball to right field and then came home on a wild throw to third.
The Panthers had a chance to add to their lead in the second inning as James Clements and Darius Sewell led off with singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice. With one out, Will Kilgore lined a ball back up the middle that appeared headed for center field, but second baseman Adam Wolfe made a diving catch and GSU was unable to score.
Wolfe then hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to put South Alabama ahead.
GSU starter Marc-Andre Habeck retired the first 10 batters of the game before issuing a pair of walks in the fourth. He did not allow a hit until Brendan Donovan's infield single with one out in the sixth. Jared Barnes followed with a single, and Habeck got the second out before Wolfe's homer.
South Alabama 2, Georgia State 1
South Alabama scored the go-ahead run on a double-steal attempt in the eight inning to defeat Georgia State 2-1 and win the series two games to one.
With the game tied at 1-1, USA catcher Jared Barnes doubled with one out and then moved to third on Jason Cryar's single. Cryar took off for second on a steal attempt and was caught in a run down, but Barnes managed to score ahead of the throw home.
Georgia State scored first as Jarrett Hood led off the second inning with his Sun Belt-leading 18th double of the season. After he advanced to third on a ground ball, freshman Darius Sewell delivered a single up the middle to put the Panthers ahead 1-0.
South Alabama tied the game on Cryar's sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Garrett Ford, who finished the first game of the day, started this game and pitched into the fourth inning, allowing just one run on two hits.
The Georgia State staff held USA to six hits, but the Panthers managed just four of their own, two of them by Sewell, off three South Alabama pitchers. Mike Dolloff (2-3) pitched the final 4.1 innings, retiring 12 of the final 13, to earn the victory.