ATLANTA -- Freshman Ryan Glass delivered the walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning, but seniors Justin Jones and Jordan Lee were the story of Georgia State's 3-2 victory over Appalachian State on Senior Day at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Jones, the Panthers' (25-26, 9-17) senior shortstop, homered in the first inning and then belted the game-tying double with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Lee, the senior starting pitcher, turned in perhaps the best start of his career, equalling his career highs with 7.1 innings and seven strikeouts while allowing just two runs on four hits.
After Jones' double scored Andrew Keene from second base with the tying run, App State walked Nick Gatewood to load the bases. That brought Glass to the plate, and the rookie designated hitter, who had homered in the previous three games, delivered a single through the left side to plate Kalen Puckett with the winning run, setting off a wild celebration.
Jones started the scoring for the Panthers in the first inning. After he ripped a ball down the third base line that was ruled just foul, he hit the next pitch over the left field fence for his sixth home run of the season and a 1-0 lead for Georgia State in his final game at Panthersville.
But Appalachian State (17-33, 8-19) managed a run in the second inning to the game at 1-1, and that was all the scoring until the eighth inning, when the Mountaineers pushed across the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice ground ball.
In the bottom of the ninth, Keene, the Panthers' freshman right fielder, worked a leadoff walk against App State closer Luke Watts (2-4). Then Puckett, another freshman, laid down a bunt that Watts fielded but bobbled, allowing Puckett to reach safely for runners at first and second with no outs.
After a failed sacrifice attempt, Jones stepped up and smacked the first pitch into the left field corner for a double to tie game, setting up the stage for Glass' walk-off hit, which also came on the first pitch.
Jones had three of the Panthers' four hits in the game.
Another senior who made a strong contribution was reliever Tanner Thomson, who pitched 1-1/3 scoreless innings with two strikouts after App State scored the go-ahead run in the eighth.
App State starter Will Sprinkle was also outstanding, allowing just two hits, both by Jones, and one run in seven innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
With the win, Georgia State clinched the series against the Mountaineers, and moved into position for the 10th and final spot in the Sun Belt Conference Championships. After a Tuesday game at Mercer (6 p.m.), the Panthers conclude the regular season with a three-game series at Georgia Southern, Thursday through Saturday in Statesboro.