Georgia State baseball season comes to an end

Photo from The Signal 2018

Georgia State fell 2-1 in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament to Little Rock after a walk with bases loaded forced the game-winning run. Sophomore Hunter Gaddis started the game on fire, throwing 7 ⅔ no-hit innings to start the game. He finished with no runs, one hit, two walks and 12 strikeouts (career high), retiring for the Panthers with a 1-0 lead in the seventh.

After the game, head coach Greg Frady commented on the play of his sophomore starter:

“I want to congratulate Hunter Gaddis on pitching one of the best games in Georgia State history on the biggest stage, under the brightest lights,” said Frady. “It was even more amazing because of the heart, grit and determination he had to have, pitching of short rest. It was just an amazing effort. I cannot say how proud I am of him, how impressed I am with him, and how he represented our program is just hats off to him.”

Despite the hot start, the Panthers struggled to close the game. Five pitchers touched the mound before Christian Reyes walked the final batter to send Little Rock on with the victory.

The Panthers finished the season at 26-29 and 10-19 in the Sun Belt.

Georgia State concluded regular season play on Saturday, May 19 with a series against rival Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Georgia. The Panthers went 1-2 against the Eagles after two tough losses in Statesboro. Gaddis earned a win in the final game of the series, which sent the Panthers to the conference tournament.

Gaddis, freshman Ryan Glass, and junior Nick Gatewood were all named to All-Sun Belt Conference teams, which were announced a week before the tournament. Gatewood made the first-team while Glass and Gaddis were second-team selections.

Gaddis tied the Georgia State record for wins with his ninth in the regular-season finale against Georgia Southern. The pitcher from Canton, Georgia finished the season with an ERA of 2.95 and 98 strikeouts after 100 innings pitched.

Glass, the designated hitter from Mableton, Georgia, became the first Georgia State freshman with seven home runs since 1997. Glass has consistently improved his play throughout the year and will be a player to keep an eye on next season.

Gatewood, the team’s leading hitter, had the best season of his career at the plate with 13 homers and a .322 batting average. He also tallied 49 RBIs, scoring 37 runs himself.

Glass and Gatewood both received National Player of the Week honors from Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Glass became the first freshman to receive the award in Panther history after hitting three home runs in four games, leading the Panthers to three victories.

The Panthers graduated 15 seniors this year and Justin Jones is one whose absence will certainly be felt next season. He climbed his way up Georgia State record books and is currently top 10 in career hits (238), runs (158), doubles (45), hit by pitch (33), games played (214) and at-bats (805).

Jones also excels in academics, graduating summa cum laude and being named to CoSIA Google Cloud Academic All-District team. His 4.1 GPA is the highest among the 89 student-athletes across the country that also qualified for CoSIA academic honors.

Wil Kilgore is another senior who made the CoSIA academic team with a 3.91 GPA in managerial sciences. Kilgore is a three-year letterwinner who had the best season of his career, batting .320 with three homers, 11 doubles and 24 RBIs.

The Panthers also went 18-14 at home and 8-14 in away games.