Will Palmer pitched a complete game and sophomore Chase Childers connected for a solo homer in the fifth and drove in his second run of the game during a three-run sixth inning as the Georgia State baseball team defeated Towson 5-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play in Towson, Md. With the win, the Panthers eliminated Towson and Northeastern from contention for the sixth and final spot in the CAA Championships and also put William & Mary on the brink of elimination as well.
Georgia State trailed 1-0 entering the fifth inning when with one out, Childers connected on a 2-1 offering from Towson starter Nate Curd for a solo blast, tying the score at 1-all. The score stayed the same until the sixth when the Panthers had seven consecutive batters reach base safely. Pinch hitter Logan Sharrett started the streak with a bunt single, then moved to second on a throwing error by Curd, the second of five errors on the Tigers in the contest. Matt Van Horn then reached on a second consecutive Towson error, this one on first baseman A.J. Tinnirella. With runners on the corners, Aeden McQueary singled in Sharrett, then advanced to second on another Tinnirella miscue. With the senior catcher on second and Van Horn on third, Childers drove in his second run of the contest with an RBI single to right, giving State a 3-1 lead. A walk to Luke Gordon loaded the bases for Dusty Bennett, who drew a walk to score McQueary to give the Panthers a 4-1 lead.
The score stayed the same until there were two out in the top of the ninth. Charlie Pelt drove in career run No. 170 with a single into right field, scoring senior Eric Suttle to give State a 5-1 lead.
That was more than enough for Palmer (7-5). The sophomore went the distance for the second time in as many outings. He allowed just the one run on seven hits while walking one batter and fanning four. Curd was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings of action.
The Panthers now lead William & Mary by one full game entering tonight's contest (7:00 p.m. - no live stats available) between the Tribe and Old Dominion. If William & Mary falls to the visiting Monarchs, the Panthers will clinch the sixth spot in the CAA standings and a place in the CAA Championships next week in Wilmington, N.C.
If William & Mary wins, the Panthers can still clinch a spot in the CAA Championships with a win tomorrow over Towson. First pitch on Preakness Saturday is set for 1:00 p.m.
Notes: Gordon had his 74th hit of the season to pull within three of the school record for hits in a single year...Suttle's run was his 129th of his career, pulling him within one of Pelt for second in State's career records...Palmer's back-to-back complete game outings is the first time a Panthers hurler has accomplished that feat since Jeramy Compton did it at Delaware and home against William & Mary in 2006 (5/12 and 5/19).