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SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Georgia State rallied from a 6-2 deficit but fell 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth at Texas State Saturday at Bobcat Ballpark, evening the Sun Belt Conference series at one game apiece.
With Georgia State leading 9-8, closer Rhett Harper (1-1) quickly retired the first two batters, but Travon Benton drew a two-out walk. Derek Scheible doubled to right field to put runners at second and third, and Jonathan Ortega singled up the middle to give the Bobcats (24-24, 10-13 Sun Belt) walk-off win.
The Panthers (18-28, 7-16 Sun Belt) turned a triple play in the fourth inning, the first on record in school history. With the bases loaded, third baseman Romero Greer fielded a ground ball and threw home for the first out. Catcher Nick Gatewood then threw to first to get the batter, and first baseman Jarrett Hood threw to third base, where Greer tagged out the runner rounding the bag.
After Texas State took the early lead with two runs in the second inning, GSU tied the game on Will Kilgore’s solo homer in the fourth inning, his sixth of the season to tie him for the team lead.
The Bobcats regained the advantage with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 6-2, but Georgia State responded immediately. Cam Sperry led off the sixth with a single and Jarrett Hood doubled to put runners and second and third. Leonard’s one-out groundout brought home one run, and Will Kilgore walked. Another run scored on an errant pickoff throw to first, and then Ryan Blanton tripled to right center to bring the Panthers within one. That was Blanton’s fifth triple of the season and No. 12 of his career, just one behind the GSU career record of 13.
Justin Jones singled to score Blanton and tie the game at 6-6.
Texas State briefly regained the lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth, but again, Georgia State answered in the seventh. After Jarrett Hood drew a one-out walk and Romero Greer singled through the right side, Leonard tripled past the center fielder to score both runs and give the Panthers the lead. After Blanton walked, Leonard came home on a double steal to put GSU ahead 9-7.
Texas State inched closer with one run in the bottom of the eighth to set up their walk-off win in the ninth.
Reliever Brayden Theriot (3-1) allowed three runs in three innings but earned the victory.
Nick Gatewood continued his hot hitting for the Panthers with two hits; the sophomore catcher is 9-for-16 in four games this week.
The series will be decided with a 1 p.m. ET game Sunday.