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MOBILE, ALA. — Georgia State dropped its third straight game at South Alabama, 19-9 (8), Sunday at Eddie Stanky Field.
The Panthers (11-13, 1-5 Sun Belt) had one of their best offensive days of the season and were within 6-5 in the fifth inning and 12-9 in the seventh before South Alabama (15-9, 5-1 Sun Belt) pulled away in the last two innings to win its sixth straight game.
Sophomore catcher Nick Gatewood had three hits and three RBI, both career highs, and Will Kilgore hit a two-run home run, his second of the season.
Gatewood gave GSU an early 3-1 lead with a two-run single in the third inning, scoring Jaylen Woullard, who walked, and Romero Greer, who reached on an error.
But South Alabama tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the third and then took the lead for good with three more in the fourth.
The Panthers pulled within 6-5 in the fifth as a single by Justin Jones, a double by Gatewood and a single by Darius Sewell produced two runs.
The Jaguars took control with a six-run sixth inning that was fueled by five walks and a hit batter. Eight GSU pitchers totalled 13 walks on the day.
Trailing 12-5, the Panthers mounted one more rally in the seventh. Jones led off with a double, Gatewood singled and Sewell walked ot load the bases, and Cam Sperry and Jarrett Hood delivered back-to-back sacrifice flies. Then Kilgore’s homer pulled GSU within 12-9.
“The positive is that we were very competitive offensively,” head coach Greg Frady said. “We played one of our best offensive games of the year. Nick Gatewood had a great game, Darius Sewell had a good game, Will Kilgore had a good game. We’ve been struggling offensively and the pitching has really carried us, but that kind of turned around this weekend. The pitchers weren’t on the game like we’ve seen them be. Some guys are a little bit sore and beat up, things that every team goes through, but we’ll continue to work.”
Georgia State returns home to host Kennesaw State Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the GSU Baseball Complex on PantherVision before defending NCAA champion and new Sun Belt member Coastal Carolina visits next weekend.