ATLANTA—Georgia State pitchers Aidan McLaughlin and Ben Burns combined for 12 strikeouts and Chad Prain singled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Georgia State a 5-3 victory over Fordham to complete a sweep of Saturday’s doubleheader at the GSU Baseball Complex. The Panthers won game one, 9-3, as Nic Wilson homered and Garrett Ford and Jerry Stuckey combined for the victory.
With the sweep, Georgia State improved to 19-13, while Fordham fell to 11-18.
The series concludes Sunday with an 11:30 a.m. contest.
GAME ONE: Georgia State 9, Fordham 3
Nic Wilson collected three hits, including a home run, and Garrett Ford and Jerry Stuckey combined to allow three runs on eight hits as Georgia State defeated Fordham, 9-3, in the first game of a doubleheader.
Ford (3-3), the freshman left-hander from Loganville, Ga., scattered eight hits over six innings, allowing three runs but only one earned. He walked one and struck one. Stuckey finished the game with three hitless, scoreless innings, including three strikeouts, for his first save.
"Garrett did a great job of getting us to the seventh inning, and then Jerry was just totally dominant. He did a heck of a job," said GSU head coach Greg Frady.
Wilson belted his third homer of the season, a solo shot to lead off the seventh inning.
Bailey collected three hits, and catcher Joey Roach drove contributed an RBI.
Fordham starter Chris Pike (1-5) allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4-1/3 innings to take the loss.
GAME TWO: Georgia State 5, Fordham 3
Georgia State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to back outstanding pitching by Aidan McLaughlin and Ben Burns, who combined for 12 strikeouts, and give the Panthers a 5-3, seven-inning victory over Fordham, completing the doubleheader sweep.
McLaughlin (1-3) turned in the longest and best outing of his career to earn his first collegiate victory. He pitched six innings and allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts.
"That was Aidan's best game ever, and we gave him the game ball afterwards and congratulated him on his first college win," said GSU head coach Greg Frady." I'm completely thrilled that he gave us that performance because we really needed it. When you play four games in a short period of time, you need everyone to pitch well and give you innings. Aidan has been working hard, loooking forward to this type of performance, and today he was prepared and ready."
After allowing Ian Edmiston to lead off the seventh with a double, McLaughlin gave way to Burns, who struck out the side to preserve the win and earn his first save. Burns’ first two pitches were balls, and then he threw 11 straight strikes, including foul balls, to shut down the Rams.
With Georgia State trailing 3-2 in the seven-inning game, Mark Hogan started the sixth-inning rally with a one-out bunt single. Matt Rose followed with a single through the left side, and then freshman Shane Gordon dropped a single down the right field line that scored Hogan with the tying run.
Chad Prain, the nation’s leading hitter, came to the plate with runners at first and third and delivered a single up the middle to bring home Rose with the go-ahead run. The Panthers added an insurance run on Drew Shields’ RBI-single.
"Chad Prain's really clutch hit up the middle just lets you know why he is one of the nation's top hitters," said Frady. "That was a fantastic at-bat.
"When you're in a seven-inning game, especially against a team that really needs a win, you're always thinking, Do we have enough time? Do we have to do something really special? Well, that three-run sixth inning, highlighted by Chad's hit, was special."
Prain went 2-for-3 in the game with a single, a double and a walk to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. He has reached base in 29 straight games.
Not to be overlooked in the decisive sixth inning was Hogan's bunt hit that started the rally.
"That's a new part of Mark's game that he has worked hard at," said Frady. "We have such a strong hitting team that sometimes you think, we can just hit, hit, hit anytime we want. But you have to find new ways to get the job done, and in a tough situation, he found a new way.
"Mark continues to be one of our team leaders, and I'm really proud of him," Frady added. "We had a team meeting this week, and he voiced a position of leadership. He does not talk a lot, but when he does, people listen."
Rose gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-out, two-run single, but Fordham answered with two runs in the third and then took the lead on Dan Sorine’s solo homer, his second of the season, to lead off the fourth inning.
Fordham starter Jimmy Murphy allowed just two runs on four hits through five innings but did not figure in the decision. Tim Swatek (1-1) came on in the sixth and took the loss.