DeLand, Fla.- Freshman Joel Van Asch had a career-best three hits but the Georgia State baseball team could not overcome a four-run first inning from Stetson in falling to the 19th-ranked Hatters 5-0 Sunday on the final day of the Bright House Invitational at Melching Field.
The Panthers (6-6) and Hatters (9-2) each put up eight hits on the afternoon, but Stetson pushed four runs across on GSU starter Ben Marshall in the first and Hatters starter Will Dorsey (2-0) tossed seven shutout innings to keep the Panthers at bay.
Marshall (1-1) settled down and allowed just one more score over his next five innings, but GSU left nine men on base in defeat.
Senior Jonathan Kolowich had two hits in the game to raise his season average to a team-best .390. Caden Bailey, Daniel Blaustein and Joey Wood also singled but the Panthers could not push a baserunner past second in the loss.
Freshmen Jerry Stuckey and local Florida product T.J. Sullivan each pitched scoreless innings of relief for the Panthers.
"We put ourselves in a hole early and it just seemed like we were battling back all day long," said head coach Greg Frady. "We really never got the big hit but we were facing a really good (pitcher)."
Over the three games in DeLand, Kolowich and Kody Adams each totaled five hits to lead the Panther attack.
The bullpen helped keep GSU in the action all weekend long by allowing only three runs in 12.1 innings. The entire staff ERA is 3.87 through 12 games, ahead of last year's record-setting 4.29 pace.
"Our young team needed the opportunity this weekend to see good pitching and to play different teams that are very good," Frady said of the Invitational. "We come away knowing that there are some things that we need to work on but we're doing some very good things, too."
The Panthers will face their third ranked opponent of the year on Wednesday, welcoming rival #12 Georgia Tech to the GSU Baseball Complex at 6 p.m. The team then continues its local circuit with a three-game weekend series against Kennesaw State.