GEORGIA STATE (4-11) vs. GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN (9-13) / NO. 8 GEORGIA (14-2)

Tuesday vs. Georgia Southwestern, 4 p.m.

Wednesday vs. No. 8 Georgia, 5 p.m.

 

COVERAGE:

Wednesday: Live video (subscription) on PantherVision, via GeorgiaStateSports.com, GSU mobile app.

 

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Tuesday:  GSU Fr. RHP Ryan Watson (1-1, 3.86) vs. GSW Sr. RHP Tucker Smith (4-0, 1.13)

Wednesday: GSU Jr. LHP Tyler Koch (0-1, 19.89) vs. UGA Jr. RHP Tim Elliott (1-1, 0.00)

 

LEADING OFF

>Georgia State hosts a pair of midweek games with Georgia Southwestern Tuesday at 4 p.m. and then No. 8 Georgia Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the GSU Baseball Complex

>Georgia has won the last two meetings in the series, including last year’s 12-2 win at GSU, but the Panthers won the previous two games. Georgia State defeated the Bulldogs 3-1 in Athens in 2014 and 10-7 in Atlanta in 2013.

>The Georgia Southwestern game was originally scheduled for March 19 but was postponed by inclement weather.

>Georgia State is 2-0 against Georgia Southwestern, winning 12-5 (away) and 15-10 (home) in 1984.

>Senior right fielder Brandon Bell is Georgia State’s leading hitter at .368, including .500 (13-26) over the last seven games. The Preseason All-Sun Belt selection is hitting .344 for his two seasons at GSU.

>Senior first baseman Jake Corso is hitting .322 while leading the Panthers in RBI (13) and in extra-base hits (8), including five doubles, one triple and two home runs.

>Junior designated hitter Elian Merejo is the team’s top newcomer, hitting .305 with a team-leading three homers and 13 RBI.

>Merejo has two game-winning hits this season, mostly recently a two-out, two-run walk-off single in the 13th inning to give the Panthers a 6-5 victory over ETSU last Friday. At Charleston Southern, trailing by one in the top of the ninth, his two-run single lifted GSU to a 7-6 victory and series win.

>Preseason All-America and Preseason Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year Hunter Gaddis takes the mound for the Panthers on Friday nights. The junior right-hander, ranks seventh in GSU history with 189 career strikeouts and tied for 10th with 13 career victories. That includes a 9-4 record and a 2.95 ERA in 2018, when he tied for the Sun Belt lead in victories while ranking second in the league in innings pitched (100.2), third in strikeouts (98) and fourth in ERA.

>Gaddis is one of three Panthers named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt team. Senior Brandon Bell, GSU’s top returning hitter and starting right fielder who also plays third base and pitches, was named as a utility player. Sophomore Ryan Glass was selected as the DH after earning second-team all-conference honors there in 2018, when he belted seven homers.

>Freshmen right-hander Ryan Watson will make his first start against Georgia Southwestern. He earned a save and a victory in his first two appearances in a Panther uniform. Against UIC, he pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts for the save, then at Charleston Southern, he finished  the game with two scoreless inning to earn the win. 

>The freshman trio of Watson, RHP Joseph Brandon and LHP Seth Clark have become the mainstays of the GSU bullpen, combining for three wins and a save in 14 appearances with a 4.93 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 31 innings.

>Now in his 13th season as the Georgia State head coach, Greg Frady is the Panthers’ career victory leader with 359 in Atlanta as part of his 546 career wins in his 19th season.

 

MORE ON THE SERIES vs. GEORGIA: Georgia has won the last two meetings, including last year’s 12-2 win at GSU, but the Panthers won the previous two games. Georgia State won 3-1 in Athens in 2014 and 10-7 in Atlanta in 2013.

>In 2014, Kenny Anderson allowed just one earned run in 6.2 innings to earn the victory, and Matt Rose, Joey Roach and Ryan Blanton drove in runs in the Panthers’ decisive three-run seventh inning.

>In the 2013 victory in Atlanta, the Panthers rallied from a 7-4 deficit and then-freshman Matt Rose earned his first save.

>In the Bulldogs’ 4-2 win in 2015, Georgia State had the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning, but UGA right fielder Skyler Weber made a diving catch on Sam Few’s line drive to end the game.

>Brandon Bell homered for the Panthers in last year’s game vs. Georgia.

>Georgia leads the all-time series 39-8.

>Although he is not expected to pitch in the game against Georgia, GSU Saturday starting pitcher Jake Rogers will see his younger brother in the opposing dugout. Chaney Rogers is a redshirt freshman left-hander for the Bulldogs.

>Georgia State will play the return game in Athens next Tuesday, March 19 as the Panthers and Bulldogs will play twice in a season for the first time since 2005, when they met once in Athens and once in Marietta, Ga.

>GSU is scheduled to play every Division I team in the state this season for a total of 12 games.