STATESBORO, GA -- Georgia State fell 12-7 at Georgia Southern Friday at J.I. Clements Stadium in game that was delayed nearly three hours by rain and lightning.

The Panthers (25-28, 9-19) still have a chance to qualify for the Sun Belt Conference tournament but will need help. Georgia State can qualify with a win Saturday, coupled with a loss by ULM in its series finale at Louisiana.

The game was scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. went into a delay when lightning was detected in the area just before 5 p.m. The game eventually started at 9:15 p.m. and ended at 12:45 a.m.

Trailing 3-0 early, the Panthers took the lead with a four-run third inning. After singles by Kalen Puckett and Justin Jones, GSU had runners at second and third with two outs when Nick Gatewood smacked a double to right field corner to score both runs. Jack Thompson and Will Kilgore walked to load the bases, and Jake Corso dropped a single into right center to plate two more runs and put the Panthers up 4-3.

But Georgia Southern (29-23, 18-10) answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, both scoring on walks, to regain the lead for good at 5-4. The Eagles added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and two more in the seventh.

Georgia State mounted a rally in the ninth as senior Romero Greer came off the bench and hit a two-run homer, his first of the season, and Jones drove in a run with a groundout.

Saturday's regular-season finale is scheduled for 3 p.m.