SCHEDULE UPDATE: Georgia State and ETSU will conclude their series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. There will be no game Sunday.
ATLANTA -- Elian Merejo's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the 13th inning lifted Georgia State to a 6-5 victory over East Tennessee State Friday at the GSU Baseball Complex.
The come-from-behind win is Georgia State's (4-9) longest game by innings since a 13-inning loss at Northeastern in 2013 and the longest contest at Panthersville since a 13-inning win over Delaware in 2007. The Panthers have played more than 13 innings only once - a 15-inning loss at William and Mary in 2009.
After ETSU (9-4) took the lead with a run in the top of the 13th, Georgia State's Dalton Davies drew a out walk, and with two outs, Griffin Cheney and Jake Corso worked walks to load the bases off ETSU reliever James Giambalvo (0-1). That brought Merejo to the plate, and the junior designated hitter singled sharply to left field. Pinch runner Jackson Sisk trotted home from third, and Cheney raced around third with the winning run.
Merejo had two hits and three RBI in the game, and Corso also had two hits including a solo homer.
The 13th-inning rally was Georgia State's second of the game after ETSU (9-4) scored three runs in the top of the first to take the early lead.
The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning on Merejo's sacrifice fly, and then Corso cut the deficit to one with his solo homer over the scoreboard in right field in the sixth.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Daino Deas tied the game with a run-scoring double to the gap in right center, and then Cheney's RBI-single put the Panthers ahead 4-3.
After the slow start, GSU starter Hunter Gaddis settled into a groove and allowed only two baserunners, on a single and a walk, from the second through the seventh inning. With one out in the eighth, Gaddis allowed a double to Jackson Greer, who moved to third on a groundout and then scored on a dribbler to Gaddis, whose throw to first was just late.
Gaddis' final line saw him pitch 7.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Behind him, freshmen Seth Clark and Joseph Brandon were outstanding. Clark pitch 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four. Brandon (1-2) pitched the final three innings to earn the win.
"It feels really good to win, and it feels even better in the way that we won," head coach Greg Frady said. "We've been going through a rough stretch, but the team truly has never quit, and tonight was just another example. We've just been lacking that two-out RBI; well, tonight we got the two-out RBI in a real clutch situation from Elian Merejo. But I thought Jake Corso had a great at-bat prior to that to walk, Griffin Cheney had a great at-bat, and so did Dalton Davies. They fought their way on to put us in a position to win the way that we did.
"But really, I think the story of the game was Hunter Gaddis and the way he pitched, and then Seth Clark and Joseph Brandon. For us to play 13 inning and have a chance to win, those three did a great job.
"We put all three pieces of the puzzle together tonight," Frady added. "We hit well, we played great defense and we pitched well."
Cheney, the sophomore shortstop and the Panthers' leading hitter, had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He also had a key defensive play as he took a relay through from right fielder Brandon Bell and cut down a runner at the plate to keep the score tied in the ninth inning.