ATLANTA- Joel Van Asch and Brandon Williams drove in two runs apiece as the Georgia State baseball team staged another exciting comeback Saturday, this time erasing a four-run deficit over the final three innings for a 9-8 victory over Northeastern at the GSU Baseball Complex.
On the heels of Friday night's epic 11-run, ninth-inning rally, the Panthers clinched their opening Colonial Athletic Association series against the Huskies by starting 2-0 in league play and moving to 9-11 overall. Northeastern fell to 8-6 on the year and 2-3 in CAA action.
The Huskies took a 7-3 lead in their half of the sixth but the Panthers scored two runs each in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to storm in front.
NU put the tying run on base in the top of the ninth but the GSU defense ended the game with a strikeout and throw-out on an attempted steal of second base.
Right-hander Aidan McLaughlin returned to pick up his first save of the season. Tyler Claburn (1-0) earned the win with 2.1 innings pitched in relief of starter Jake Dyer. Huskies reliever Sam Berg fell to 0-2 with the loss.
"The word I would use about our team right now is relentless," said Panthers head coach Greg Frady, whose squad clinched the school's fifth-straight series win over the Huskies. "Northeastern scrapped to take the lead but we had multiple clutch at-bats and it really was another great team effort."
The Panthers picked up right where they left off the night before by belting seven hits in the first two innings off Huskies starter Dylan Maki. Williams launched his third home run of the season over the wall in left to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage in the first frame.
Two Huskies homers and a sacrifice fly in the fourth gave NU a 5-3 lead. The visitors added two more scores in the sixth as Jon Leroux's two-run single put GSU in a 7-3 hole.
The Panthers punched back as Adams drilled an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, then scored on a triple by Bailey into the left field corner to make it 7-5.
The Huskies added one unearned run off Claburn in the seventh to make it 8-5, but GSU rallied again.
Williams led off the eighth with a hit and moved to third base with two outs, when Wood singled him home to tie the game, 8-8. After a pitching change, Van Asch ripped one through the middle to plate Wood for the winning run.
After Huskies' leadoff batter Rob Fonseca reached on an error to start the ninth, McLaughlin induced a flyout. He then struck out Alex McKeon and defensive catching replacement Scott Sarratt popped up to throw out Fonseca stealing to end the game.
"Our team is finding out that conference games are all nine innings," added Frady. "You have to find ways in every part of the game to be competitive and to answer. We're getting seasoned now as a baseball team."
The teams wrap up their three-game series with a 1 p.m. start Sunday at the GSU Baseball Complex.