Georgia State Panthers open up 2020 with a walk-off win over Cincinnati Bearcats

Georgia State (1-0) defeated the reigning American Athletic Conference champions Cincinnati (0-1) in a back and forth thriller to start of the season Friday night.  Coming into this game, the Panthers were the underdogs. Tonight, they certainly did not play like ones.

Even after being down at three points of the games, head coach Brad Stromdahl’s team was resilient and did not stop fighting. Clutch hitting was the key for the Panthers as Tanner Gallman would deliver an RBI single, scoring Ryan Glass who doubled earlier tying the game at one.

However, the Bearcats scored four runs in the third inning off of a pair of devastating errors by the Panthers. The Bearcats would go up 5-1 after the top of the third inning.

The Panthers would not go away, however, as Elian Merejo hit a two-run bomb to left field pulling the Panthers close with a 5-3 score. 

Even with the pitching struggling for the day, Trey Horton threw a crucial fourth keeping the deficit at two runs.

In the bottom of the fifth, Merejo continued his clutch tear, ripping an RBI double scoring Griffin Cheney and cut the deficit down to a run. Shortly after, Will Mize tied the game bringing in Merejo.

Tanner Gallman finally gave Georgia State their first lead of the game after an RBI single in the fifth. Cincy, however, came back to tie in the seventh and put more pressure on the Panthers’ relievers.

Not only did the relievers escape the eighth, but Joseph Brandon also pitched a scoreless top of the eighth keeping the game tied. The Panthers would leave a man stranded at third keeping the game at six apiece.

In the ninth the Bearcats took the lead, silencing the crowd with an 8-6 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. Georgia State tied the game on a couple of wild pitches by the Bearcats at eight apiece. The Panthers would need a miracle to pull an upset over the Bearcats.

But, miracles happen. And Friday was no exception.

Freshman Cameron Jones stuck out the side on nine pitches dazzling the crowd in the tenth.

After getting a couple of runners on, Daino Deas knocked them in with a walk-off single. The Panthers prevailed winning 9-8 in extras.

The GSU Baseball Complex was rocking as their Panthers celebrated their first game as winners.

If this game proved one thing about the team, it is that they are very dangerous. 

The Panthers host St. John’s University tomorrow their second game of the 2020 season, with the first pitch set for 2:00 pm.