ATLANTA, Ga. – Coastal Carolina junior pitcher Alaska Abney struck out a career-high nine batters but it wasn’t enough as the Georgia State Panthers scored an unearned run in the seventh to slip by with a 2-1 home conference win over the Chanticleers on Friday night at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Abney was superb on the mound, as he made just one mistake on the solo home run in the fourth. The junior allowed just one run on three hits, three walks, and fanned a career-high nine strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.
However, the Panthers’ starter Cameron Jones was just as good on the hill, as the left-hander held the Chants to just one run on two hits, four walks, one hit batter, and seven strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.
The decision went to the bullpens as GSU’s Chandler Dawson (2-2) picked up the win with 3.0-scoreless innings, while the loss fell to CCU’s Shaddon Peavyhouse (2-2) who was tagged for an unearned run on one hit, two walks, and one strikeout over 3.0-complete innings.
The offense again struggled to string together a series of hits on the night in the loss. Second-baseman Dale Thomas (1-for-3, BB) continued his hitting streak with a single to start the game. The lone other hit was an RBI-double in the sixth off the bat of designated hitter Alex Gattinelli (1-for-3, 2B, RBI). The other four runners to reach base reached on three walks and a hit batter.
The Panthers’ offense did not do much either on the night, as they had just four hits lead by a solo home run from Will Mize (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) in the fourth. The other three hits came by way of Dalton Pearson (1-for-3), Kalen Puckett (1-for-3), and Kyle Riesselmann (1-for-2, BB, run).
The two teams, which are No. 1 and 2 atop of the Sun Belt Conference in strikeouts combined to strike out 21 times and strand 10 runners on base in the game.
With a pitcher’s duel to start the contest, as the two starters allowed just one hit each over the first three innings, neither team was able to get anything across until the fourth frame.
The Panthers pounced out to an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning from Mize, before the Chanticleers scored two innings later on a two-out RBI double off the bat of Gattinelli to tie the game up at 1-1 midway through the sixth inning.
With runners on second and third and two outs, the Chants looked to take the lead on a ball in the dirt at the plate as BT Riopelle sprinted towards home plate on the play. The junior appeared to slide around the tag and put his left hand on the plate before the GSU catcher tagged his chest but was called out nonetheless to end the inning.
The Panthers retook the lead in the bottom half of the seventh, as a single, walk, fielder’s choice and a throwing error on a double-play attempt allowed the home team to put runners on first and third with two outs.
A wild pitch hit the dirt and bounced up off the heel of the catcher’s mitt to go all the way to the backstop and allow the Georgia State baserunner to race home from third and give the home team a 2-1 lead with two innings to play.
The visiting Chants would go down in order in the final two frames as the Panthers escaped with the 2-1 win.
Coastal (19-18, 3-7 SBC) and Georgia State (12-23, 7-9 SBC) will play game two of the three-game conference series tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET at the GSU Baseball Complex.