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Courtesy: Mike Jula
Matt Rose hit his eighth homer of the season.

Rose, Bullpen Lead Panthers Over Savannah State, 12-6

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ATLANTA -- Matt Rose homered and drove in three runs and the Georgia State bullpen tossed six scoreless innings in Georgia State's 12-6 victory over Savannah State Wednesday at the GSU Baseball Complex.

Georgia State (19-23) trailed 6-2 in the third inning, but relievers Kevin Burgee, Andrew Fessler, Ben Burns and Jerry Stuckey put up six straight zeros, allowing the Panthers to take the lead with a five-run seventh inning.

Chris Triplett tied the game with solo homer, his fourth of the season, in the sixth, and then Nic Wilson drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh.

Chase Raffield, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a pair of hits, led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and then stole second before Wilson drove him in with a double to left field corner. Wilson moved to third on Rose's fly ball and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Roach to give the Panthers an 8-6 lead.

Freshman Trae Sweeting started a two-out rally with a triple to the right field corner, his second triple in as many games. Caden Bailey dropped a single into short center field to bring home Sweeting.

Triplett reached on catcher's interference, and after a double steal put the runners at second and third, Chad Prain delivered a two-run single to make the score 11-6. The Panthers added another run on Rose's RBI-single in the eighth.

"It was one of the best grinding offensive performances of the year," GSU head coach Greg Frady said. "We absolutely fought for every single at-bat, with a lot of two-out RBIs and situational hitting.

"We're at our best when our offensive lineup is balanced. When the bottom of our lineup is rolling, we can really score some runs."

Savannah State (15-26) took an early lead with three runs in the first inning, but Georgia State answered with two runs in the second on Bailey's opposite field double to the left field corner.

When GSU starter Wayne Wages ran into trouble in the third inning, Burgee came on to record the final two outs, but the Panthers trailed 6-2.

Burgee allowed no runs on three hits in 2.2 innings. Fessler (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh to earn the victory, and Burns and Stuckey finished the game with one scoreless inning each.

"Our bullpen was just awesome," Frady said. "Kevin Burgee came in and really got the game settled, and behind him, every single guy did his job -- Fessler, Burns and Stuckey -- and gave us a chance to come back.

While the bullpen was doing its job, the Panthers chipped away at the SSU lead. Rose belted his eighth homer of the season in the third inning with a solo shot to center field to cut the deficit to 6-3. In the fifth, Wilson reached on a two-out double that got past the third baseman and scored on Rose's single to left. After Rose stole second, he came home on Roach's single to right field, pulling the Panthers within 6-5.

For Savannah State, Tre Sikes drove in three runs, including hit his seventh homer with a solo shot in the third, and Zachary Brigham had three hits.

Georgia State's homestand continues as the Panthers welcome Arkansas State, the second-place team in the Sun Belt Conference, for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. at the GSU Baseball Complex.

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