There were five combined runs scored on five combined solo home runs – three by Georgia State and two by Coastal Carolina – as the Panthers held on to defeat the 16th-rankedd Chanticleers, 3-2, in the series opener Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Georgia State (19-18, 6-9) hit a pair of home runs in the second inning and the Coastal (26-14, 12-4) tied the game with homers in the second and sixth innings. The Panthers opened the eighth with a home run by Justin Jones and used five pitchers out of the bullpen to secure the win.
Hunter Gaddis improved to 7-2 on the season as he allowed five hits, two runs and just one walk in seven innings with eight strikeouts. Jansen Acton earned his fifth save, getting the final two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Coastal starter Zack Hopeck turned in his team-best fifth quality start but did not factor into the decision. Like Gaddis, Hopeck allowed five hits and two runs over seven complete. Jay Causey (2-1) suffered the loss as he allowed the GSU home run in the eighth.
Georgia State got on the scoreboard first as Jack Thompson and Will Kilgore started the second inning with back-to-back home runs.
Coastal got one of those runs back in the home half of the second as Kyle Skeels hit a one-out, solo home run to left field.
The Chants then tied the game, 2-2, as Kevin Woodall Jr., hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth. The blast was his 14th of the year and 35th of his career.
The Panthers regained the lead, 3-2, in the eighth on Jones’s fourth home run of the season.
The teams will play game two of the weekend series at 2 pm on Saturday. Saturday is Military Appreciation Day. All veterans will be admitted for free and there will be several pregame ceremonies.