GEORGIA STATE (12-30, 3-15) vs. COASTAL CAROLINA (24-17-1, 9-8)

ALUMNI GAME SATURDAY: Click here for more information.

THE SERIES at the GSU Baseball Complex

Friday, 6 p.m. (PantherVision Video, via GeorgiaStateSports.com, GSU mobile app.)

Saturday, 2 p.m. (PantherVision Audio Only)

Sunday, 1 p.m. (PantherVision Audio Only)

 

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

Friday:       GSU Fr. LHP Seth Clark (2-1, 6.43) vs. CCU LHP Anthony Veneziano (4-1, 4.27)

Saturday:   GSU Jr. RHP Hunter Gaddis (1-5, 5.84) vs.  CCU TBA

Sunday:     GSU Jr. LHP Tyler Koch (0-4, 7.07)  vs. CCU TBA

 

LEADING OFF

After five straight road games, Georgia State returns home to host Coastal Carolina in a Sun Belt Conference series that opens Friday at 6 p.m.

Coastal Carolina holds a 5-1 lead in the series, which only began in 2017.  Georgia State’s win came last season at Conway, S.C., in Game 1 as Hunter Gaddis allowed two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings in the 3-2 victory over the No. 16 Chanticleers.

Freshman Josh Smith has a 10-game hitting streak during which he is 19-for-38 (.500) with seven RBI. Included in that streak is a stretch of seven straight multi-hit games.

Senior right fielder Brandon Bell is a dual threat, leading the team with a .329 batting average and four saves. The Preseason All-Sun Belt selection did not allow an earned run in his first seven appearances and recorded saves vs. Georgia Southwestern, Kennesaw State, Furman and Mercer.

Sophomore shortstop Griffin Cheney is hitting .319 after playing only sparingly as a freshman, when he did not have a hit. This season, he has reached base in 38 of the 40 games started.

Cheney has reached base in 11 of his last 12 plate appearances over the last two-plus games: (vs. South Alabama) single, (vs. Kennesaw State) walk, single, double, error, walk, single, (vs. Furman) single, groundout, single, single, intentional walk.

Hunter Gaddis was named Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week (March 18) after a combined shutout over Appalachian State. He pitched eight scoreless innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts while allowing just four hits, all singles, in the 2-0 win. The 6-6 right-hander earned the third Sun Belt weekly honor of his career.

Gaddis, the Preseason All-America and Preseason Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, ranks third in GSU history with 241 career strikeouts,10th with 14 career victories, sixth in games started (36) and eighth in innings pitched (237.1). That includes a 9-4 record and a 2.95 ERA in 2018, when he tied for the Sun Belt lead in victories while ranking second in the league in innings pitched (100.2), third in strikeouts (98) and fourth in ERA.

Outfielder-turned pitcher-turned back to outfielder Rhett Harper batted for the first time in more than three years in the March 27 win over Kennesaw State. He reached base in four of five plate appearances, including two singles and the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning. Then he had a career-high four RBI on two doubles in win over Furman (April 3). He is hitting .294 in 15 games.

The Panthers are playing without first baseman Jake Corso, their top hitter and run producer, due to injury. Hitting .325, he led the team in RBI (17) and extra-base hits (11) when he was injured.

Junior designated hitter Elian Merejo leads the team with four homers and has two game-winning hits in GSU’s final at-bat. His two-out, two-run walk-off single in the 13th inning gave the Panthers a 6-5 victory over ETSU (March 8). At Charleston Southern, trailing by one in the top of the ninth, his two-run single lifted GSU to a 7-6 victory and series win.

>T he freshman trio of RHP Ryan Watson (5 wins, 1 save), RHP Joseph Brandon (1 win, 1 save) and LHP Seth Clark (2 wins) have combined for eight wins and two saves in 45 appearances. Two other freshmen -- infielder Chase Frady and outfielder-first baseman Josh Smith -- have combined to make 49 starts in the field.

Now in his 13th season as the Georgia State head coach, Greg Frady is the Panthers’ career victory leader with 367 in Atlanta as part of his 554 career wins in his 19th season.