ATLANTA -- Baseball standout Rhett Harper is the Georgia State Student-Athlete of the Week after leading the Panthers to a victory at Sun Belt Conference leader and 30th-ranked Texas State.
With Georgia State trailing 1-0 and one out in the eighth inning, Harper fell behind 0-2 in the count before hitting a solo home run just inside the foul pole in left field to the game at 1-1. After the Panthers took the lead on Jake Corso's run-scoring double, Harper provided a key insurance run with an RBI-single in the ninth, GSU held on for the 3-1 victory to snap Texas State's nine-game Sun Belt winning streak.
For Harper, the homer was just the second of his career and his first since February of 2015. Since then, the fifth-year senior moved to the mound and became the team's closer in 2017, missed 2018 due to elbow surgery and then returned to the outfield and the batting lineup midway through this season. Despite not batting for three years, he is hitting .323 with 12 RBI in 20 games.
In Sunday's series finale, the Chatsworth, Ga., native smacked his first career triple and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. For the week, he was 4-for-6 (.667) with three RBI and two runs scored in two games.
Also an outstanding student, Harper has another big week ahead as he graduates from Georgia State with a degree in finance and a 4.16-grade point average.
Harper and the Panthers have eight regular-season games remaining, including home games against Presbyterian (Wednesday at 5 p.m.) and Georgia Southern (May 16-18).