PANTHERSVILLE, Ga. – After rallying late in the first game for a win, the Georgia State baseball team did not need late-game heroics to complete its sweep of Jackson State. The Panthers came from behind to win the first game 11-7, and comfortably rode their offense to a 19-0 win the nightcap.
The opening game of the doubleheader was a pitcher’s duel until the sixth. Jackson State got on the board first with a homer from Brionne Jones to left in the top of the third. Georgia State (3-0) responded in the bottom of the frame by manufacturing a run. Marc Mimeault laced a double down the left field line to start the inning. Chase Childers laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Mimeault to third. Mike McCree drove in the run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Tigers (0-3) broke the 1-1 tie on a single from Jerome Tyes. Jamaal Locklear delivered the big blow two batters later with a two-run home run left off Panther reliever John Locklear. Locklear settled down and got Jones to end the inning with a line out to Bradley Logan at third. Jackson State continued to take advantage of the wind blowing out in the seventh inning, as Cortez Cole hit a two-run homer that gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead.
The Panther offense came alive in the bottom of the seventh after Tiger started Charles Williams left the game. With Childers on second, McCree doubled down the right field line to score Childers. Later with runners on the corners and two outs, Matt Van Horn executed a suicide squeeze to score McCree. Moments later Logan delivered the crucial blast with a three-run homer that tied the game at six.
In the eighth, David Ferrer came into pitch for the Panthers after Robert Hasenfelt walked the first batter. Ferrer got into a jam a runner on third, and surrendered a run on an infield single from LaDerek Camper. The righty finished the inning with a strikeout, but the Panthers trailing 7-6.
The State attack continued its barrage in the bottom of the eighth. Childers belted a two-run homer to left that broke the tie and gave the Panthers an 8-7 lead. Van Horn pushed across a run with a groundout, and Logan brought home another insurance run with a single through the left side that gave State an 11-7 edge.
Ferrer made quick work of the Tiger batters in the ninth to record the win in relief. He pitched two innings, striking out a pair and walking just one of the eight batters he faced.
The second game was a different story, as back-to-back doubles from Nick Hogan and Jean-Michel Rochon-Salvas put the Panthers up 1-0 in the first. Derek Simmons drove in Rochon-Salvas with an RBI groundout to give State a 2-0 lead.
Mitch Rider opened the second with a solo blast to right center. Head coach Greg Frady gambled with a double steal that paid off, as Joey Wood and Hogan pulled off the swipe to put runners at second and third. After a bases-loaded sac fly from Rochon-Salvas, Bradley Logan tripled to right field that cleared the bases and gave the Panthers an 8-0 edge. After State batted around, Rider single to score Simmons.
“We wanted to get off to a good start in the second game because of the dramatic come from behind win in the first game. We knew that our offensive output would help [our starter] Drew [Grant],” said Panther head coach Greg Frady. “Drew did a great job of keeping them at bay. Theo [Asher] threw two great innings, and Will Campbell and Chas Skees did a good job. The shutout feels great.”
Panther starter Drew Grant came out firing in the nightcap. The righty gave up two hits, struck out five and walked one in five shutout innings. Lefty Theo Asher came into the game in the sixth and struck out two in two innings of scoreless relief. Will Campbell struck out two while working a scoreless eighth and Chas Skees registered two strikeouts while closing the game with a scoreless ninth.
With the Georgia State pitchers keeping the Jackson State bats in check, the Panther bats stayed hot throughout the second game. State scored runs in all but two innings, provided its pitchers with ample run support.
Rider finished the game 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs. Simmons finished 3-for-4 with four runs scored and a pair of RBIs while Logan went 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
“I am very proud of how our freshmen are playing. They have all gotten hits this weekend,” added Frady. “We played a good game and everybody did a phenomenal job.”
The teams conclude their four-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m.
NOTES: Chase Childers delivered a sacrifice hit in the first game, giving him 13 in his career and tying him for 6th all-time in school history with Michael Brand (1993-96) ... Jean-Michel Rochon-Salvas moved into a ninth-place tie with Jay Langston (1997-99) on State’s career at bat’s list with 604 ... Rochon-Salvas recorded his 201st, 202nd and 203rd hits to take sole possession of sixth on the school’s all-time hit list ... The Quebecer also took sole possession of seventh place in runs scored with 123, breaking a tie with Herb Brooks (1981-84).