What You Need to Know:
* No. 10 seed Georgia State opens the Sun Belt Conference Championship vs. No. 7 seed Arkansas State in a single-elimination game Tuesday at 3 p.m.
* The Panthers qualified for the conference tournament by winning their final series against Georgia Southern.
* Senior Ryan Blanton had seven RBI in the two wins over Georgia Southern, including the game-winning grand slam in the eighth inning of Game 1.


No. 10 GEORGIA STATE (22-32, 10-20) vs. No. 7 ARKANSAS STATE (26-26, 13-16)
Tuesday, 3 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.

COVERAGE
Televised on ESPN3/WatchESPN
Live audio for all GSU games available on GeorgiaStateSports.com and GSU mobile app.

PROBABLE PITCHERS
GSU: RHP Hunter Gaddis, Fr. (4-3, 3.27) vs. ASU: RHP Bradley Welsh (4-2, 6.02)

LEADING OFF

* Georgia State is making its second appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Championship since rejoining the league in 2013-14 but its fourth overall. The Panthers first played in the Sun Belt tournament in 1979 and 1980, posting a 5-4 record and finishing third in 1980. GSU went 1-2 in the 2015 event for a combined record of 6-6 in the Sun Belt tournament.

* To earn its way into the Sun Belt Conference Championship, Georgia State rebounded from a 1-11 start in Sun Belt play, winning four of its final six series vs. Troy (home), ULM (home), Texas State (away) and Georgia Southern (home).

* Senior center fielder Ryan Blanton almost single-handedly willed the Panthers into the Sun Belt tournament with two home runs and seven RBI vs. Georgia Southern. With the Panthers trailing 7-5 in the eighth inning of the series opener, he blasted a game-winning grand slam to send GSU to a 9-7 victory. He also led off the game with a solo homer and had two other hits and three runs scored. In Game 2, Blanton again came to the plate with bases loaded and the Panthers trailing 3-2 in the fourth inning, and he delivered a two-run single. The Panthers went on to win 7-6 and clinch their Sun Belt tournament berth.

* Blanton leads the team in hits (61), RBI (37), runs (41), homers (8), triples (5), walks (39) and stolen bases (9) and is second in average (.303).

* With 23 career home runs, Blanton ranks 15th in GSU history and second (to Georgia Southern's Ryan Cleveland, 45) among all active Sun Belt players. Blanton also has 12 career triples, just one behind the school record of 13.

* Catcher Nick Gatewood was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on May 8 after going 11-for-21 with three homers in five games at Minnesota and Texas State.

* Gatewood leads the Panthers with a .324 average. Since taking over as the everyday catcher, he is hitting .345 and slugging .540 with five homers and 19 RBI in 31 games.

* Georgia State placed two student-athletes on the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV team in shortstop Justin Jones (4.08, health and physical education) and pitcher Rhett Harper (4.15, accounting and finance). Harper and Jones have the two highest GPAs of any All-District selections in the nation, and both are eligible for the CoSIDA Academic All-America team, which Jones made last season.

* Shortstop Justin Jones has three game-winning hits this season, including his walk-off double in the 11th inning of the 4-3 win over UL Monroe (April 29). In the March 8 win at No. 14 Ole Miss, he delivered a two-run double in the top of the 11th inning for the 2-0 victory. On March 18 in a 1-1 game vs. UT Arlington, he hit a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth and GSU won 2-1.

* Freshman starting pitcher Hunter Gaddis, a 6-5 right-hander, leads the team with a 4-3 record and a 3.27 ERA. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 2-1 victory over UT Arlington on March 18.

* Eleventh-year head coach Greg Frady earned his 500th college coaching victory in the Panthers' 12-4 victory over Northern Kentucky on March 4. Frady now has 329 wins at Georgia State, plus 187 wins at North Florida C.C. (1991-96) for a total of 516.

* Frady is GSU's career leader in victories after passing Mike Hurst (293) on March 20, 2016. In the last year he has been inducted into the German Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame and the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame.

THE SERIES vs. ARKANSAS STATE

* The series, which began when Georgia State rejoined the Sun Belt in 2014, is tied 6-6.

* Arkansas State swept this year's season series in Jonesboro, Ark., 14-1, 4-2, and 10-5. That was part of Georgia State's 11-game losing streak.

* The teams met in an elimination game in the 2015 Sun Belt tournament, when Arkansas State won 6-2.

FINAL WEEKEND DRAMA

Entering its final regular-season series against rival Georgia Southern, Georgia State needed to win one more game than Appalachian State in its series in order to qualify for the Sun Belt Conference Championship. The Panthers won the series, coming from behind in the late innings of Game 1 and Game 2 to earn the tournament berth.

In Game 1, the Panthers fell behind 7-5 in the sixth inning. But Ryan Blanton's grand slam in the eighth lifted Georgia State to the 9-7 victory.

In Game 2, Georgia State trailed 3-2 early, but moved ahead on Blanton's two-run single in the fourth. After Georgia Southern took a 6-5 lead, the Panthers rallied again in the seventh as Jaylen Woullard tied the game with an RBI-single. Romero Greer followed with a sacrifice fly, and Georgia State held on for the 7-6 victory.