ATLANTA-Georgia State (3-0) used another strong pitching performance to defeat Texas Southern, 5-1, Sunday at the Field at Panthersville, completing a three-game sweep in which the Panthers allowed just one run.
Starter Will Campbell (1-0) scattered three hits and one run in seven innings to earn the victory, and Jake Dyer and Wes Grant completed the four-hitter with one scoreless inning each. In addition to allowing only one run all weekend, the Panthers walked just five batters in the three games.
"Our pitching staff has done a great, great job," said head coach Greg Frady. "We got three wonderful starts, our relievers pitched very effectively and we made plays on defense. We turned double plays, we threw runners out. And we did enough offensively to put ourselves in position to win."
When Texas Southern pushed across a run with two outs in the third, it snapped Georgia State's school-record string of 20-2/3 scoreless innings. With one out, Andrew Garza reached on a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a single to center field by Ray Hernandez, who was thrown out trying to advance to second.
"Every one of our pitchers took the mound with a purpose, threw the ball in the strike zone, and mixed pitches well," said Frady. "And we backed them up with good defense."
The Panthers tied the game in the bottom of the inning as Bryan Condotta drew a lead off walk, stole second, advanced to third on a bunt by Mark Micowski and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett Maxwell.
With the score tied at 1-1, Shane Hammond led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Schmitz. After Micowski walked and Brett Maxwell beat out an infield single to load the bases with two outs, Daniel Blaustein drew a walk to score Hammond and put Georgia State ahead, 2-1. The Panthers threatened for more when Joey Wood hit a sharp line drive to deep left field, but Brandon Mikell tracked the ball down to end the inning.
GSU plated two more runs in the eighth. Aaron Schmitz led off with a double off the wall in left-center field, missing a home run by feet. He was plated a batter later from second base after another defensive error by the Tigers, with the batter Condotta making it all the way to third base. Micowski then drove in Condotta with a sacrifice fly to right field.
"I just went up there looking for a pitch to drive and I got it and jumped on it," said Schmitz of his eighth inning double. "We have an outstanding hitting team up and down the lineup. This was an excellent opening weekend."
Blaustein and Schmitz contributed two hits each for the Panthers.
"Those guys got their chance to play today, and they took advantage of it," said Frady.
Texas Southern (0-3) starter Michael Starkey (0-1) allowed two runs and two hits over five innings to take the loss.
Georgia State again played solid defense, turning double plays in the sixth and eighth innings.
The Panthers play their first road game of 2011 with a game at Mercer Tuesday at 4 p.m. Georgia State is back at home next weekend with a four-game series against Western Illinois, beginning Friday at 4 p.m.