The Georgia State Panthers finished the regular season red hot as they defeated Little-Rock (Ark.) 11-10 in a high offense game. It was Senior Day for the Panthers as they looked to finish the regular season on a high note before heading into Sun-Belt Conference tournament play.
The Trojans came to play early though as they scored three runs in the first inning to jump out to an early lead. The Panthers knew they needed to respond even though it was early.
Senior Infielder Ryan Glass, who has been on a tear in the last six games, hit a home run over the midfield wall bringing in three runs. Glass who homered in his first game as Panther at home also homered in his last game as a Panther at home.
“I love it,” said Glass. “With it being the last one of the season, there is nothing more you can ask for.”
Another senior got in on the fun in catcher Elian Merejo who added an RBI single putting the Panthers ahead by one run. Panthers’ infielder Preston Joye added another RBI single which brought in two more runs as the Panthers led 6-3 at the end of the first inning.
The Panthers added one run in the third inning to lead 7-3.
The Trojans did not make it easy on the Panthers as they added two runs in the fourth inning cutting the Panthers lead to two runs.
Although the Panthers brought in two more runs off of Outfielder Josh Smith’s home run in the fifth inning, stretching their lead back to four, the Trojans had a huge sixth inning.
Trojans outfielder Tyler Wright blasted a grand slam into right field tying the game at nine as momentum swung in favor of the Trojans.
With the game being tied, the Panthers did not want their huge play to be taken for granted. Instead, the younger players stepped up.
Joye and Smith were able to get on base (Smith intentionally walked), true freshman outfielder and left-handed pitcher Cameron Jones delivered with the go-ahead two out single bringing in Joye. A bad throw to third base by the Trojans brought in Smith who slid into home plate as the Panthers regained the lead 11-9.
The Trojans were able to add one run in the eight inning but Panthers pitcher Ryan Watson earned his second save in this game as the Panthers persevered to a 11-10 win.
“I’m so happy for our seniors,” said Panthers head coach Brad Stromdahl. “It takes a village. We got some gutsy pitching performances, I am just proud of of players and organization.”
Glass, who finished the game 1-3 with three RBI’s and one home run, has been on a hot streak in five of his last six games. For him, it’s all about not trying to do too much.
“It’s more so keeping it simple,” said Glass. “I try to tell myself to stay calm and do what I can do.”
Stromdahl alluded to Glass’s hot play the past six games.
“He has definitely been our anchor the last two weekends,” Stromdahl said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what [he] can do when the lights turn on and when it matters the most.”