ATLANTA -- Georgia State leadoff hitter Kendall Ford went 5-for-5 to spark the Panthers to a 9-5 victory over Savannah State Wednesday at the GSU Baseball Complex.

Catcher Nick Gatewood collected two hits and three RBIs, Jack Thompson added three hits and an RBI, and Brandon Bell drove in two for the Panthers (20-20).

Ford had five singles, all to the opposite field, and the senior second baseman drove in one run and scored three.

Seven GSU pitchers combined for the victory. On a designated staff night, starter Tanner Thomson (2-1) tied his career-high with five strikeouts in three innings, allowing one run on four hits to earn the victory. Among the six relievers, Bryan White tossed two scoreless frames with two strikeouts, and Tyler Koch and Brandon Bell also threw scoreless innings.

After spotting Savannah State (5-26) one run in the first inning, the Panthers scored one in the first on Bell's RBI-groundout and then took the lead with a three-run third inning. Ford delivered a run-scoring single, and two more runs scored on wild pitches for a 4-1 advantage.

Back-to-back RBI-singles by Gatewood and Bell put the Panthers up 6-2 after four.

Gatewood's second run-scoring single came in the sixth, and then in seventh, Thompson drove in one with his third hit of the night and then scored on an error to extend the lead to 9-2.

Trailing 9-3, Savannah State loaded the bases in the ninth inning on a walk and two hit batters and scored two runs, but Bell moved from right field to the mound to record the final three outs.

Georgia State continues its homestand by hosting Louisiana for a Sun Belt Conference weekend series, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. on PantherVision.