Tallahassee, Fla. - The Georgia State baseball team opened the 2010 season with an 11-3 loss to top ten-ranked Florida State on Friday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium A crowd 5,254 saw the Panthers face its highest-ranked opening day opponent in school history.
In a game that had several strange plays, the irregularity of the Georgia State pitching staff unraveled the normally calm Panthers. The staff finished the game walking 12 batters, while only recording four strikeouts. The team was also credited with four passed balls.
"I was happy about the start of the game as I think we did a very good job of being ready to play," commented head coach Greg Frady. "We were able to establish some things, score a few runs and take the lead. However, the story of tonight's game is that we just walked too many people and gave up too much free stuff like a costly error or a passed ball. When you are playing a top ten-ten team like we are, the little things are magnified and those things were magnified tonight."
Georgia State (0-1) got off to a solid start and looked as though they would not back-down from its third-straight ranked opponent dating back to last season.
Following a scoreless first, junior catcher Carter Sackett walked and Rob Lind singled to right to give the Panthers the two lead-off batters on base for the second straight inning. Sophomore Brandon Williams reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Sackett, giving the Panthers their first run of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Justin Malone drove in Williams with a sacrifice fly to center, as State took a 2-0 lead which would hold going to the bottom of the third.
However, Florida State (1-0) quickly responded and chased junior David Buchanan (0-1) after just two-plus innings in the top of the third. Buchanan, making his first start in a Panther uniform, was relieved by junior Charley Olson.
Buchanan finished the game with 2.0 innings pitched, allowing just three hits, but six walks and two earned runs.
The Seminoles added three more in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-2 lead, capped by a Mike McGee home run over the short-porch in right field, the 26th of his career.
True freshman Michael Moch relieved Olson in the bottom of the fifth. Olson allowed three hits and three runs in 2.1 innings pitched, striking out one.
Florida State added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth before sophomore Nick Squeglia relieved Moch and finished the game.. Moch allowed two runs in 1.0 innings pitched, walking two.
Williams provided the Panthers with a run in the top of the seventh. After doubling to left field, Taiwan Easterling threw wildly into the infield and into the dugout. Williams, who was advancing to third, was awarded home.
Squeglia allowed the final two Seminole runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Redshirt-junior Joey Wood, who battled injuries during the 2009 season, went 2-for-4 at the plate, while Williams finished the game with two of the three Panther runs scored.
Florida State's Tyler Holt went 1-for-3 at the plate with four runs scored to lead the Seminoles who belted out 11 hits. Stephen Cardullo, Mike McGee and Stuart Tapley each had a pair of hits for FSU.
Seminole starting pitcher Sean Gilmartin (1-0) went 7.0 innings, striking out seven, allowing just five hits.
The Panthers and Seminoles will return to the diamond on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The series finale comes on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Live stats of this weekend's game as well as an internet-only broadcasts of the games on Saturday and Sunday can be found via GeorgiaStateSports.com.
Following this three-game series, Georgia State will return to Atlanta for the home opener on Tuesday against USC-Upstate beginning at 4 p.m. Before the game, the Panthers will unveil their 2009 CAA Championship and 2009 NCAA Regional banners on the outfield wall.
Tickets for the home opener can be purchased at the box office or by calling 1-866-GA-State.