Georgia State Panthers preparing for a strong 2020 in baseball

Georgia State comes into the 2020 season with a new lease on life. For the first time in 13 seasons, the Panthers will have a new head baseball coach to call the shots: Brad Stromdahl. His first season tasked with bringing consistency, he will be tested by the Sun Belt’s stiff competition with Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette all on the schedule. 

“The Sun Belt is a tremendous conference that really tests you every weekend, and our non-conference slate offers great competition as well,” Stromdahl said. 

Stromdahl replaces former longtime manager Greg Frady and with it comes a culture change for the program. 

The Panthers will host the Atlanta Challenge for the sixth consecutive season along with Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State. The Panthers have their work cut out for them in the tournament, facing two ranked opponents: the No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs and No. 20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Georgia State is currently predicted to finish last in the conference. However, the Sun Belt has a habit of underestimating the Panthers. Predictions like these are what put the “fun” in “Fun Belt.”

Even with the challenges for the Panthers, the new head coach is excited for the season to begin. Heading into 2020, Stromdahl is oozing with anticipation for his young squad.

“This is something we’ve been waiting for all fall, and it’s finally here,” Stromdahl said. “We’re still trying to figure out who we are as a team, and we have a new culture that’s different from the previous regime.”

The Panthers will face every Georgia Division I program this year, headlined by a trip to Athens to take on the Bulldogs. Additionally, home-and-homes with Georgia Tech, Mercer and Kennesaw State will take place. The season’s most anticipated game will be in Statesboro as the Panthers travel to take on the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Georgia State will come into 2020 with a solid crop of recruits looking to develop into stars for the program, highlighted by much-needed pitching upgrades.

Camren Landry and Chandler Dawson headline the current list of Georgia State commits. Both have had strong careers in high school, ranking in Perfect Game’s top 500 players in the country.

Last season, the Panthers ended the 2019 season with a poor performance in the pitching department. The team had a collective earned run average of seven and a 15-41 record from the pitching staff. Georgia State’s top commitments this season are a couple of solid pitchers looking to turn around the pitching performance.  

With pitching addressed, another puzzle piece is still looking for a spot.

The most important task for the Panthers this season will be to find its identity under Stromdahl. This season will be about growth and development over wins and losses under a new regime. While this season will probably be rough when it comes to the win and loss record, it’s going to be a season where the new recruits will be able to hone their play for upcoming seasons. 

Georgia State begins its new era at home against the University of Cincinnati on Feb. 14 for the start of the Atlanta Challenge.