ATLANTA-The Georgia State baseball team fell to Grambling State, 9-4, Saturday at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Grambling State starter Richard Bautista allowed just three earned runs over seven innings, and shortstop Juan Bueno went 4-for-6 with a homer to lead the Tigers (1-5).
Georgia State led 4-2 after four innings, but the Tigers moved ahead with three runs in the top of the fifth. Bueno led off the inning with an infield single, and then Jose Longoria laid down a bunt that Georgia State pitcher Garrett Ford fielded but threw wildly to first. After a sacrifice bunt, the Tigers had runners at second and third with one out, and Brandon Kiser, Hector Mejias and Elias Todman delivered consecutive singles to give Grambling a 5-4 lead it would not relinquish.
"We have to execute the little things better," said Georgia State head coach Greg Frady. "We didn't handle the bunt very well today, and we had some opportunities for some pickoffs but we weren't on cue. That's the symptom of a young team. On the other hand, Grambling is a veteran team, and they played very well today. Give them credit.
"Every series is hard-fought in college baseball. If you win your series, it's a good job. Yesterday, we put ourselves in position to win the series. We wanted to win it today; it didn't happen. But we will show up tomorrow and play hard. We've just got to do the little things better."
Ford (1-1), the freshman lefty making his second start for the Panthers, threw four solid innings before running into trouble in the fifth. For the game, he allowed five runs, four of them earned, on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Zach Moreau pitched two scoreless innings for Grambling to earn his first save.
The series concludes with a 1 p.m. game Sunday.