Georgia State Baseball: Panthers Open Sun Belt Tourney vs. Arkansas State, Tuesday at 3 p.m

What You Need to Know:

* No. 10 seed Georgia State opens the Sun Belt Conference Championship vs. No. 7 seed Arkansas State in a single-elimination game Tuesday at 3 p.m.

* The Panthers qualified for the conference tournament by winning their final series against Georgia Southern.

* Senior Ryan Blanton had seven RBI in the two wins over Georgia Southern, including the game-winning grand slam in the eighth inning of Game 1.

 

No. 10 GEORGIA STATE (22-32, 10-20) vs. No. 7 ARKANSAS STATE (26-26, 13-16)

Tuesday, 3 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.

 

COVERAGE

Televised on ESPN3/WatchESPN

Live audio for all GSU games available on GeorgiaStateSports.com and GSU mobile app.

 

PROBABLE PITCHERS

GSU: RHP Hunter Gaddis, Fr. (4-3, 3.27) vs. ASU: RHP Bradley Welsh (4-2, 6.02)

 

 LEADING OFF

 * Georgia State is making its second appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Championship since rejoining the league in 2013-14 but its fourth overall. The Panthers first played in the Sun Belt tournament in 1979 and 1980, posting a 5-4 record and finishing third in 1980. GSU went 1-2 in the 2015 event for a combined record of 6-6 in the Sun Belt tournament.

 * To earn its way into the Sun Belt Conference Championship, Georgia State rebounded from a 1-11 start in Sun Belt play, winning four of its final six series vs. Troy (home), ULM (home), Texas State (away) and Georgia Southern (home).

 * Senior center fielder Ryan Blanton almost single-handedly willed the Panthers into the Sun Belt tournament with two home runs and seven RBI vs. Georgia Southern. With the Panthers trailing 7-5 in the eighth inning of the series opener, he blasted a game-winning grand slam to send GSU to a 9-7 victory. He also led off the game with a solo homer and had two other hits and three runs scored. In Game 2, Blanton again came to the plate with bases loaded and the Panthers trailing 3-2 in the fourth inning, and he delivered a two-run single. The Panthers went on to win 7-6 and clinch their Sun Belt tournament berth.

 * Blanton leads the team in hits (61), RBI (37), runs (41), homers (8), triples (5), walks (39) and stolen bases (9) and is second in average (.303).

 * With 23 career home runs, Blanton ranks 15th in GS 

 

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