ATLANTA—Adam Knight tossed 6-2/3 strong innings and Marc Mimeault belted his 12th home run of the season to lead Georgia State to a 9-3 victory over Samford Tuesday at Panthersville. Georgia State (30-18, 11-7 CAA) won its fourth in a row to reach the 30-win plateau for the second straight year.

 

Knight, a senior right-hander from Ringgold, Ga., scattered three runs in a career-long outing. He allowed 10 hits but walked just two and struck out three to improve to 2-4 on the season.

 

Georgia State broke open a 1-1 game with a five-run sixth inning and then added three more runs in the seventh as every Panther starter collected at least one hit.

 

“There’s a big smile on my face,” said Georgia State head coach Greg Frady. “It’s not easy to win 30 games in Division I baseball. We’ve only done it three times in our history, but now we’ve done it the last two years in a row. It’s a huge step for our program.”

 

With the score knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mimeault, the senior catcher from Candiac, Quebec, put the Panthers ahead with a sacrifice fly. Carl Moniz’s double brought home another run, and then Nick Hogan delivered a two-run single. Derek Simmons added a run-scoring single to extend State’s lead to 6-1.

 

Samford (17-31) responded with two runs in the seventh to pull within 6-3. Wayne Miller drove in one run with an RBI-double, and after stealing third, he scored on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Ballard.

 

Senior righty John Locklear of Winter Park, Fla., came on to get the final out of the inning. He shut out the Bulldogs over the final 2-2/3 innings, allowing just two hits, to earn his second save of the season.

 

“That was the best pitching of the season by Adam Knight,” said Frady. “ He pitched us into the seventh inning and gave us a chance to win, and we can’t ask for anything more than that. And then John Locklear came in and got the job done.”

 

The Panthers added three runs in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by Mimeault’s two-run blast to left.

 

“Marc has played really well for us,” said Frady. “He’s been great behind the plate all year long, and he’s really hitting the ball. And he’s definitely a team leader.

 

“As a coach, it’s a really good feeling to be playing your best baseball at the end of the season.”

 

Samford starter Kyle Putkonen (4-3), of Marietta, Ga., matched Knight until the sixth inning. The Walton High graduate allowed just one run on four hits through the first five frames before he was chased with five runs in the sixth.

 

Georgia State turned double plays in each of the first three innings to keep the game scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Panthers got on the board with an unearned run. Matt Van Horn reached on a fielder’s choice and came around to score on an RBI single by Theo Asher.

 

The Bulldogs answered in the fifth as Byron Soler’s run-scoring single plated Joe Durham, who was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Samford had an opportunity for more, but Soler was gunned down at the plate as he tried to score from first base on Stephen Ballard’s double.

 

Samford threatened again in the sixth with runners at second and third and one out, but Knight got a weak grounder from Trey Hayes and then struck out Joe Durham to end the inning.

 

The Panthers are scheduled to host Atlanta Christian College Wednesday at 5 p.m.  Towson visits this weekend for State’s final Colonial Athletic Association series, Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

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