PANTHERSVILLE, Ga.--Georgia State used a strong starting outing by junior hurler Drew Grant and three home run balls to defeat UNC Wilmington 5-3 tonight at The Field, the Colonial Athletic Association opener for the Panthers..
"We certainly got the proper recipe for winning conference games tonight," said Panthers head coach Greg Frady. "We got a solid starting outing from Drew, some great relief work, and some very scrappy play by our batters tonight to get the win."
State (11-9, 1-0 CAA) fell behind 1-0 on an RBI single by Mark Carver. State would respond in the home half of the second on a solo homer by senior Charlie Pelt. The score stayed even until the fourth when the Panthers exploded for three runs. A sacrifice fly by sophomore Chase Childers brought home junior Luke Gordon to put the Panthers up 2-1. Then with a runner on second and two out, senior Aeden McQueary sent the 10th pitch of his at bat over the wall in left for a two-run homer to put the Panthers up 4-1.
In the fifth, the Panthers scored their final run when junior Jean-Michel Rochon-Salvas connected for a solo blast to left-center, putting State ahead 5-1.
The score stayed the same until the seventh when UNC Wilmington (9-12, 2-2 CAA) scored a run off a wild pitch by Grant and a single by Kevin Hodges. But after giving up the RBI single, senior reliever Adam Bowling enduced a 6-4-3 double play to retire the side.
From there, UNC Wilmington would threaten in the eighth, loading the bases with two out. This time, junior Kevin Dooley closed the door by getting a fly out to center to end the threat. The Seahawks went in order in the ninth to give the Panthers their first win in CAA play of the season.
In his second start of the season, Grant improved to 2-0 after giving up three runs in 6.1 innings. "My defense behind me gives me all of the confidence in the world," said Grant of his outing tonight. "I knew I had them backing me up all night."
Bradley Holt (1-4) went 7.1 innings in the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits.
Pelt's 2-for-4 night gives him 199 hits for his career. Another hit would place him in a tie for fourth in Panthers history.
The Panthers will continue their CAA series with the Seahawks tomorrow afternoon at The Field. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m.