TROY, Ala. – Trade Sweeting broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out single in the eighth inning to lift the Georgia State Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Georgia Southern Eagles in game one of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Riddle-Pace Field.
The Eagles (30-26) tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but the Panthers (30-25) retook the lead in the top of the eighth inning off of reliever Ryan Frederick.
Frederick (3-2) allowed a pair of singles around two strikeouts to start the frame before Sweeting plated Cam Sperry from second base with a single to center field. Frederick allowed one run on three hits over an inning.
Georgia Southern put runners on the corners in the 9th inning after Kody Adams and Aaron Mizell hit back-to-back two-out singles, but Kevin Burgee got a fly out from Ryan Cleveland to end the game. Burgee (8) worked a scoreless 1.1 innings and struck out one batter for the save.
"Georgia State got a big two out hit from Matt Rose to take the lead and their guys out of the bullpen did a good job. On our end, we had opportunities right out of the gate in the first inning,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said.
Georgia State struck for a 2-0 lead in the third inning after loading the bases with two outs. Matt Rose hit a sharp single to center field to give the Panthers the early lead.
Wayne Wages picked up the victory out of the bullpen after the Panthers retook the lead. Wages (4-0) struck out two batters and did not allow a hit or a walk over 1.1 innings.
Nathan Bates held GS scoreless over the first six innings before surrendering the lead and two runs in the seventh inning. Bates left with a no decision after allowing five hits and five walks over 6.1 innings.
Evan Challenger was solid for the Eagles allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Challenger struck out five batters over six innings in a no decision.
The baseball team will play the loser of South Alabama and Arkansas State tomorrow at 10 a.m. eastern time.