Brad Stromdahl wants to put Georgia State baseball on the national stage

Georgia State had a promising start to the season and outlook is bright for the program Photo by Harry Wyman | The Signal

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Georgia State baseball. 

While the record might not reflect it, the Panthers took significant strides forward as a program. Not only did they finish .500 (18-18) in the Sun Belt and notched impressive upset wins against ranked opponents such as the West Virginia Mountaineers, Vanderbilt Commodores and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Since their return to the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, the baseball program has struggled mightily, especially after returning from the Colonial Athletic Association. Since 2016 the program has an overall record of 114-141 as it languished in Panthersville. 

However, the program had a breath of fresh air breathed into it with Brad Stromdahl after the 2019 season. While the wins and losses don’t reflect much, the program has been competitive against top-ranked competition. 

His first entire season as head coach Stromdohl has put the program in an excellent foundation for the future. Under his tenure, the Panthers earned its highest win in program history by handing the then-third-ranked Commodores their first loss of the season. 

“We were able to go in there, Friday night and beat Vanderbilt,” Stromdahl said. “We want to put Georgia State baseball back on the map.”

The program has shown signs of success early in Stromdahl tenure with victories against solid programs such as Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Georgia Tech. Georgia State’s 10-1 upset win over the Yellow Jackets encouraged Stromdahl to go up against the best in the city. 

“I’m excited to play against a talented and experienced Georgia Tech program,” Stromdahl said. “We want to go after Atlanta kids and we’ll have to compete against [Georgia Tech] on and off the field.”

In 2020, the Panthers matched up with the best in their respective conferences. The comparison against the top-level competition will only aid in the development of first-year students and lower-classmen players. The Panthers finishing at .500 in the conference is their best finish since joining the Fun Belt.

“We had an unbelievably great season,” Stromdahl said. “It’s never easy to finish a season, but we’re very comfortable with where we are.”

With talented seniors such as Elian Merejo and Tyler Koch, there is still much to look forward to for Georgia State. Outfielder Josh Smith’s breakout season ended with a spot on the Sun Belt All-Conference Team and a Player of the Week in April. 

The pitching staff also stepped for the Panthers to lift the team out of tough spots. Pitcher Cameron Jones, also named to the All-Sun Belt teams, looks to be a leader for the rotation. While the team is still young, the 2020 season set by Stromdahl has created a strong foundation for the future of the program.

Georgia State’s future is also bright, with talented recruits joining the ranks. 

The program’s future will continue as the team eventually moves from their stadium in Panthersville to the downtown campus at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Similar to the convocation center with basketball, the baseball team’s new stadium will undoubtedly generate unseen excitement. 

“We’re excited for the new stadium,” Stromdahl said. “Can’t wait to be downtown and closer to students to watch us play.”

The Panthers have a long way to go, but don’t sleep on Georgia State baseball in the future.