GEORGIA STATE (14-38) at PRESBYTERIAN (26-26)
Tuesday, May 14, 3 p.m., PC Baseball Complex, Clinton, S.C.
COVERAGE: Live stats on GeorgiaStateSports.com, GSU mobile app
PROBABLE PITCHER: GSU RHP Brendon Case (0-1, 9.20)
>Georgia State plays its final road game of the season with a trip to Presbyterian Tuesday at 3 p.m.
>Presbyterian won last week’s game in Atlanta 13-4, scoring eight runs in the eighth inning to break open what had been a 5-3 game. Rhett Harper, Chase Frady and Luke Leonard hit solo homers for the Panthers.
>Georgia State leads the series 4-3, but the Panthers are playing at Presbyterian for just the second time. The only other meeting in Clinton was an 8-7 GSU victory on May 13, 2008.
>Top starting pitcher Hunter Gaddis leads the Sun Belt with 102 strikeouts (No. 20 NCAA). He is just the third Georgia State pitcher, and the first since 1996, to strike out 100 in a season. After fanning 98 last season, he has two of the top five single-season totals in GSU history. The school record is 115 by David Giancarlo in 1996.
>Gaddis is coming off a complete-game, 11-strikeout performance at Louisiana. He allowed just two runs, one earned, on five hits but the Panthers fell 2-0. In his last two starts at Texas State and Louisiana, Gaddis has allowed just three earned runs on eight hits in 15.1 innings with 20 strikeouts.
>Freshman RHP Ryan Watson earned his team-leading sixth victory at Texas State (May 4) as he finished the 3-1 win with 2.1 innings of scoreless, hitless relief. Watson’s six wins are the most ever by a Georgia State freshman. He is tied for third in the Sun Belt in victories.
>Senior outfielder Rhett Harper was named to the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-District® baseball team by CoSIDA for the second time. He graduated last week with a 4.16 GPA in finance, the highest GPA for any baseball student-athlete selected Academic All-District®. He is now eligible for the Google Cloud Academic All-America® baseball team, which will be announced next month.
>Harper homered and drove in two runs in the May 4 win Texas State. In the eighth inning, his solo home run to tie the game at 1-1, and then in the ninth, his RBI-single provided a key insurance run, and GSU held on for the 3-1 victory over the Sun Belt leaders.
>Harper’s homer was just the second of his career and his first since Feb. 14, 2015, a span of 1,540 days. 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 midway through this season. He added another homer four days later vs. Presbyterian. Despite not batting for three years, he is hitting .306 with 13 RBI in 24 games.
>First baseman and top hitter Jake Corso returned to the lineup at Texas State and went 5-for-10, including an RBI-double, after missing six weeks due to a hand injury. He led the team in average, RBI and extra-base hits when he was injured March 19, and he is hitting .333 since his return.
>In their 15-11 come-from-behind victory over Coastal Carolina on April 28, Georgia State trailed 10-5 after five innings, then outscored the Chanticleers 10-1. GSU tied the game on Elian Merejo’s RBI single and then taking the lead on Luke Leonard’s two-run double in the bottom of the eighth. Trey Horton earned his first career victory with four innings of relief, allowing just one run.
>DH Elian Merejo had two three-run home runs and the game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning in GSU’s 15-11 win over Coastal Carolina. Merejo’s seven RBI are one shy of the school record and the most by a Panther since Joey Roach had seven vs. Mercer in 2015.
>Senior right fielder Brandon Bell is a dual threat, with a .321 batting average and team-leading four saves. The Preseason All-Sun Belt selection did not allow an earned run in his first seven appearances and recorded saves vs. Georgia Southwestern, Kennesaw State, Furman and Mercer.
>Hunter Gaddis, the Preseason All-America and Preseason Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, ranks third in GSU history with 267 career strikeouts,10th with 14 career victories, sixth in games started (39) and eighth in innings pitched (258.0). 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.
>Elian Merejo has two game-winning hits in GSU’s final at-bat. His two-out, two-run walk-off single in the 13th inning gave the Panthers a 6-5 victory over ETSU (March 8). 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.
>The freshman trio of RHP Ryan Watson (6 wins, 1 save), RHP Joseph Brandon (1 win, 1 save) and LHP Seth Clark (2 wins) have combined for nine wins and two saves in 56 appearances. Two other freshmen -- infielder Chase Frady and outfielder-first baseman Josh Smith -- have combined to make 62 starts in the field.
>Now in his 13th season as the Georgia State head coach, Greg Frady is the Panthers’ career victory leader with 369 in Atlanta as part of his 556 career wins in his 19th season.