Athens, Ga. - The Georgia State baseball team dropped a tough 13-9 decision to the University of Georgia on Tuesday night at Foley Field. Georgia State collected 15 hits in the game, but three errors and three double plays against the Panthers proved too costly against the Bulldogs.
Georgia State dropped to 29-19-1 on the season, while Georgia improved to 14-33. The Panthers have lost two straight after going 15-2-1 over their previous 18 games. Georgia State will return to conference action this weekend where the Panthers have gone 10-1-1 over its last four CAA series.
Junior Jonathan Kolowich and redshirt-sophomore Joey Wood led the Panthers at the plate with three hits a piece on the evening, but the Bulldogs' Peter Verdin and Kevin Ruiz trumped State's effort, collecting four hits each.
Junior Mark Micowski led things off for the Panthers in the top of the first with a single through the right side, his team-high 82nd of the season. He added one more later in the game and is now just two shy of teammate Bradley Logan's 2008 single season record of 85.
Two batters later, Wood plated Micowski on a fielder's choice to give State an early 1-0 lead.
Georgia responded with four in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Levi Hyams, his fourth of the season, as the Bulldogs built a 4-1 lead.
The Panthers quickly responded in the top of the second when senior Carl Moniz led off the inning with a single up the middle. Sophomore Brandon Williams, junior Rob Lind and Kolowich followed with three straight walks to load the bases and plate a run with no outs and to cut the Bulldog lead to two.
Following the Bulldogs first of six pitching changes, sophomore Justin Malone belted a deep sacrifice fly to center to score Williams and cut the Bulldogs lead to 4-3.
State tied the game in the top of the third when Williams drove in his 64th run of the year, plating Kolowich, making the score 4-4. The Marietta, Ga. native is just six-shy of Josh Vandiver's school record of 70 set during the 1999 season.
Georgia retook the lead in the bottom of the third when Zach Taylor scored when Carson Schilling grounded into a double play, as the Bulldogs went ahead 5-4.
The Bulldogs seemed to put things away in the bottom of the fifth, scoring five runs, highlighted by a bases clearing triple by Zach Cone, as Georgia went ahead 10-4.
Georgia State, which came into the night second in the nation in batting average and first in scoring, battled back with three in the sixth.
Lind and Hammond led off the inning with back-to-back singles and following a Malone walk, the Panthers loaded the bases with no outs for the second time on the evening. Micowski followed with a single, scoring Lind to cut the Panthers deficit to five.
Although scoring another run, Kolowich grounded into the Panthers' third double play of the evening, scoring Hammond, cutting Georgia's lead to 10-6. Wood followed with a single to score Malone, cutting the Bulldogs lead to 10-7.
Georgia added one in the seventh, but the Panthers quickly came back with two in the top of the eighth to cut the Bulldogs lead to two.
The Panthers loaded the bases with just one out and put themselves in position to tie the game. After a wild pitch cut the Panthers deficit to three, Logan grounded out to cut Georgia's lead to 11-9. Unfortunately, that is was close the Panthers got.
Georgia followed with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth and even though Williams led off the ninth with a single to right, the Panthers never were able to put forth one last rally.
Panther starter Nick Squeglia (2-2) earned the loss after going 2.0 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs, all of which were earned.
Steve Esmonde (2-0) earned the win after two innings of relief, allowing just three hits and one run. Blake Dieterich started for the Bulldogs, but did not record an out in the second inning, allowing three hits and three runs, along with three walks.
The two teams combined to use 11 pitchers as the offenses collected 35 hits.
The Panthers will return to the diamond on Friday night as Northeastern travels to Atlanta for a three-game series beginning at 6 p.m. The game will air live on WRAS-FM 88.5 beginning with the Panther Pregame Show at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Panthers remaining six home games can be purchased by calling 1-866-GA-STATE or by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com. Live stats of all Panther games are provided via GeorgiaStateSports.com.