ATLANTA- In one of the most dramatic finishes in school history, the Georgia State baseball team scored 11 runs in the bottom of the ninth inning- 10 with two outs- to erase a 10-run deficit and stun Northeastern with a 13-12 victory in the Panthers' Colonial Athletic Association opener at the GSU Baseball Complex Friday evening as Alex Prescott scored on Kody Adams' walk-off single.
The Panthers entered the final frame down 12-2 but sent 14 batters to the plate and scored an improbable 11 runs on nine hits, capped by Adams' RBI single to the wall in right field.
GSU ended a five-game slide in the process to improve to 8-11 overall and 1-0 in the CAA while Northeastern fell to 8-5, 2-2 in league action.
"I just want to say a million times over- special, special, special," said head coach Greg Frady after the win. "You can look at our entire roster, it was a total team effort. I told the team that the two things you can control are your attitude and your effort and we showed that in never giving up tonight."
GSU used all 16 position players on its roster in the win and five pinch hitters over the final three innings. Prescott and Bowder each picked up their first career hits in the deciding rally.
The bottom of the ninth began with a strikeout and the Panthers had been down to their final out with the score 12-3 after Adams flied out to center field. GSU was many times down to their last strike but strung together seven hits and two walks to storm back for the win.
Freshman T.J. Sullivan (1-0) earned his first career victory while Mike Hanlon (1-1) suffered the loss.
"Something just felt weird over the team," Adams said of the ninth-inning rally. "You could feel a positive energy every time someone came up to the plate. I fought back from being down 0-2 in the count (in the final at-bat) and he threw me my pitch and I finally took advantage of it."
The game featured a near one-hour weather delay in the seventh inning with NU up 8-2. The Huskies emerged from the delay to add three runs in the eighth and one more in the top of the ninth to all but seal the win by taking the 12-2 lead.
Bowder began the comeback by scoring on a wild pitch. Landon Anderson then drove in Caden Bailey to make it 12-4 and Joel Van Asch's bases-loaded single made it 12-5. The next batter Joey Wood walked to cut the deficit to 12-6, and Mark Hogan did the same, making it 12-7. Bowder's second single of the inning scored two as GSU came within three at 12-9, then Bailey's RBI single brought it to 12-10 to set up Prescott's heroics.
Eleven different Panthers scored in the contest, led by two runs apiece from Bowder and Prescott. Jonathan Kolowich had a team-high three hits while Wood drove in a season-high three runs.
All-conference starters Justin Malone and Andrew Leenhouts each went 6.0 innings did not factor into the decision.
The teams will return to the site of the unlikely comeback Saturday at 1 p.m. for game two of the three-game series at the GSU Baseball Complex.