NEW ORLEANS—Chase Raffield homered in both games and drove in four runs as Georgia State swept a doubleheader from New Orleans, 5-4 and 6-5 (11), at Wesley Barrow Stadium, running the Panthers’ winning streak to eight games.
The GSU bullpen allowed just one run in 11-2/3 innings in the twin bill as the Panthers improved to 24-13 on the season and equaled the second-longest winning streak in school history. The only longer streak was an 11-game string from March 8-25, 2011.
The Panthers have won three straight one-run games, including two extra-inning affairs, against UNO, playing 32 innings in just over 24 hours.
Chad Prain, the nation’s leading hitter entering the day, was hitless in the doubleheader but reached base in both games, extending his streak to 34 straight games. In the extra inning win in game two, he brought home the tying run in the ninth inning when he was hit by a pitch with bases loaded, and he was at the plate when the winning run scored on a wild pitch in the 11th.
“I didn’t feel like we played great in game one, but we did enough to win the game,” said GSU head coach Greg Frady. “In game two, from the third inning on, I thought we played great. A lot of execution, a lot of gutty performances by different players. They had us down to our last pitch, but we found a way to win.”
The series concludes with a 1 p.m. ET game Sunday.
GAME TWO: Georgia State 6, New Orleans 5 (11 innings)
Fueled by Chase Raffield’s two-run homer, Georgia State rallied from a 5-1 deficit to earn a 5-4, 11-inning victory over New Orleans in the second game of a doubleheader at Wesley Barrow Stadium. Chad Prain was hit by a pitch with bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning to bring home the tying run, and then the Panthers scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the top of the 11th.
Georgia State fell behind 5-1 after four innings, but Raffield began the Panthers’ comeback with a two-run blast to right field in the sixth inning, his team-leading seventh homer of the season.
Raffield pulled the Panthers within 5-4 in the eighth inning with a two-out single that scored Drew Shields, who led off the inning with a pinch hit single.
Raffield homered twice on the day, but that run-scoring single with two strikes was perhaps his best at-bat of the day.
“They kept throwing me a lot of changeups, and I finally sat back on one and hit it up the middle,” said Raffield, who hit fastballs for both homers.
“It was not the prettiest day, but this has been a great series so far. We’ve really played together as a team,” Raffield added.
But the Panthers still trailed 5-4 and were down to their last strike in the top of the ninth when Josh Merrigan beat out an infield hit down the third base line. Shields followed with another infield hit, this one to short, to put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Joey Roach reached on an error by the shortstop to load the bases for Prain, the nation’s leading hitter. After falling behind 0-2, Prain drew a hit by pitch to bring home the tying run.
In the 11th, Shields managed another infield hit to reach base with one out. On a hit-and-run, the left-handed hitting Roach singled through the right side and Shields moved to third. With Prain at the plate, UNO reliever Raymond Winter (2-3) sailed a pitch wide to the screen, and Shields came home with the go-ahead run.
GSU reliever Connor Stanley (3-1), who came on with two outs in the 10th, allowed two hits in the bottom of the 11th but struck out the side to earn the victory. But Andrew Fessler was the story. The junior left-hander relieved starter Aidan McLaughlin in the fourth and pitched 6-2/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out six.
“Andrew Fessler came in and really gave us a chance to win the game, and then Connor Stanley came in and got the job done," said GSU head coach Greg Frady. "Getting the last three outs on the road is not easy. Our boys never quit today, and it was a tremendous victory, one of the best victories of my coaching life.”
Shields, who had a hit and two RBI in game one, went 3-for-3 and scored two runs off the bench in game two.
“The play of Drew Shields coming off the bench was huge,” said Frady. “He brought a lot of energy and infused a lot of things that we needed.”
GAME ONE: Georgia State 5, New Orleans 4
Chase Raffield hit his sixth home run of the season and Caden Bailey drove home the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning single as Georgia State downed New Orleans, 5-4, in the first game of a doubleheader.
With the score tied at 4-4, Chad Prain led off the eighth inning with a walk, stole second base and then moved to third on a ground ball by Raffield. That brought Nic Wilson to the plate, and he chopped a ground ball to third. Prain broke for home and eventually was put out in a rundown, but he stayed in it long enough to allow Wilson to get all the way to third. Bailey drove him in with an infield single to the shortstop, putting the Panthers ahead, 5-4.
New Orleans loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as reliever Matt Rose issued three walks, but the freshman right-hander got Zacary Hawkins to fly out to center field to end game. Rose saved his second straight game and now leads the team with four.
After opening the game with four scoreless innings, Georgia State starter Garrett Ford allowed four runs on six hits with four strikeouts and one walk in 5-1/3 innings but did not figure in the decision. Jerry Stuckey relieved Ford in the sixth and allowed just two hits in 2-2/3 innings to earn the victory and improve to 3-1.
Raffield’s homer, a solo blast to right field with two outs in the top of the fifth, gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead. UNO answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Zach Liberto’s two-run triple that pulled the Privateers within 4-3. New Orleans tied the game one inning later on an RBI-double by Andre Damiens.
Second baseman Drew Shields drove in two runs for the Panthers with a groundout in the second inning and a double in the fourth inning.
Prain, the nation’s leading hitter, failed to get a hit but with his eighth-inning walk, he reached base for the 33rd straight game.