ATLANTA- Jonathan Kolowich doubled twice and Scott Sarratt drove in three runs before Aidan McLaughlin ended a bases-loaded jam in the ninth with a strikeout to give the Georgia State baseball team an 8-7 win Sunday over conference leader UNC Wilmington in a Colonial Athletic Association series finale at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Joel Van Asch also drove in a pair of runs as the Panthers broke a 6-6 tie in the seventh inning after overcoming an early 3-1 hole.
The win pushed the Panthers (19-25, 10-11) into a three-way tie for fifth place in the CAA as the Seahawks (27-17, 17-4) dropped just their fourth game in conference action on the year.
GSU also snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Colonial power and top-50 RPI Seahawks in the process.
"I'm very proud of our team as everybody played well and we found a way to win the game and push forward," said Panthers head coach Greg Frady. "We say Sunday is about the will to win and continuing to fight hard and I thought we did that today."
The Panthers' victory is the team's eighth one-run win on the season.
GSU loaded the bases in the first inning and Kolowich started the scoring with a groundout to score Caden Bailey for a 1-0 lead.
After walking the bases loaded in the third, Panther starter Max Schmitz induced a soft flyout to stem the rally. The Seahawks finally pushed ahead with three runs in the fourth inning however, with Michael Bass scoring on a wild pitch to give UNCW a 3-1 lead.
The Panthers struck right back in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
Three more runs in the next inning gave GSU its largest cushion of the series.
After Brandon Williams led off the fifth with a single and was moved over on a sac bunt, Kolowich ripped a double to the wall in left center to push GSU back in front, 4-3. With the bases loaded later in the inning, Sarratt was hit by a pitch to bring home Kolowich. Van Asch then drove in a run with a ground ball to the right side for the Panthers' final tally of the inning and a 6-3 advantage.
Andrew Cain's three-run homer in the sixth brought the Seahawks right back to tie it, but the Panthers had another answer.
Kolowich belted a leadoff double and scored two batters later on another RBI hit from Sarratt, a single down the left field line to give the Panthers a 7-6 edge. Landon Bennett then drove a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle to score pinch runner Gabe Shivers as the Panthers tacked on what would be the deciding run that made it 8-6.
After a scoreless eighth inning from reliever Jerry Stuckey, the Seahawks put two aboard with nobody out in the ninth against the Panther freshman. A force out at third and a pop up made two away. A single up the middle by Bass cut the Panther lead to 8-7, at which point McLaughlin entered to try and nail down the save. The sophomore walked Matt Campbell to load the bases but then struck out Tyler Molinaro swinging to give GSU the win.
Senior Jake Dyer (3-4) earned the win by striking out two over 3.1 innings in relief of Schmitz.
There are nine league games remaining on the GSU schedule, with the top six schools qualifying for the league tournament in May.
The Panthers host Atlantic Sun leader USC Upstate (29-12) Wednesday before hitting the road for three at CAA foe VCU (24-20, 11-13) next weekend.