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ATLANTA — Freshman Hunter Gaddis took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Justin Jones hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth as Georgia State evened its series with UT Arlington with a 2-1 victory Saturday at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Gaddis, the 6-5 right-hander, was nearly perfect for the first seven innings, allowing just one walk, which was erased by a double play, and one hit batter while striking out six. That gave the rookie from Sequoyah High School in Canton 18 straight scoreless innings since moving into the starting rotation two weeks ago.
But Quinton Rohrbaugh led off the top of the eighth with a solo home run to left field, tying the game at 1-1. Gaddis got the next two hitters on a strikeout and a flyout before pinch hitter Christian Hollie singled up the middle to end Gaddis’ day.
UTA then loaded the bases with two walks, but Logan Barnette came on and got Omar Salinas to fly out to end the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Jones, the Panthers’ shorstop, hit his first homer of the season and the second of his career with a solo shot down the line in left field to put GSU back on top, 2-1.
The Mavericks mounted one more rally in the ninth as Will Olson and Rohrbaugh singled with one out to put runners at first and second. Barnette struck out Noah Vaughn for the second out but hit Zac Cook to load the bases. Barnette (3-0), the sophomore side-armer, then got Hollie to ground out to end the game.
UT Arlington starter Trae Patterson (1-2) nearly matched Gaddis, allowing just one run on one hit until Jones’ homer.
Cam Sperry drove in the Panthers’ first run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, bringing home Jones, who reached on an error.
PLEASE NOTE: Sunday’s series finale has been moved up to a noon start.