Devin Vainer and Will Kilgore talk their transition to a Georgia State

Many changes came along with the merger of Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter. A lot of new students, a couple of new campuses, and a bunch of student-athletes who didn’t have an athletic program to be a part of anymore. One of the biggest changes from the merger was that Perimeter’s athletic program would be no more, leaving many student athletes with tough decisions to make. Two of those student-athletes, Devin Vainer and Will Kilgore, joined Georgia State’s baseball team, and are both featured in prominent roles as the starting pitcher and starting second baseman respectively. Both in their second year at State and happy to have found success on their new team, they both admitted transition was not an easy one, in particular on the field.

“The competition is a lot harder here,” Said Kilgore. “The teams we play are more consistent and on a higher level here.”

Division one schools feature better players and tougher teams compared to junior college, so it is not surprising that Kilgore admitted that. He also thanked Georgia State’s coaching staff and facilities for helping in aiding the transition athletically. The transition academically was also a rocky one, but help was once again there.

“The classes are harder, but the teachers are more willing to work with you,” Said Vainer. “Everybody is here to support you. If you need study hall, you’ll do that. If you need a tutor, you’ll get a tutor. At Perimeter, it was a harder process to get those things.”

Along with the educational benefits Georgia State provides, Kilgore and Vainer enjoy the support the baseball team receives from the campus, something they didn’t get much of at Perimeter.

“I think the team gets more support here because number one it’s a bigger school and a whole lot of the students stay on campus, so it’s much easier to catch a game,” Vainer said. “At Perimeter everybody commuted so they would have to drive from wherever they stayed at, whether that means 10 minutes away or for some people an hour.”

Kilgore and Vainer are both very happy to be at State now, but they both admitted to missing at least one thing about their old school.  Kilgore said he missed the lack of athletic rules and constraints he didn’t have to deal with at GPC, while Vainer had a funnier response. He said he misses the freedom and how laid back it used to be while adding in with a chuckle it’s something he shouldn’t.

The Panthers have just opened Sun Belt Conference play and have the next couple of games at home, something Vainer relishes as a pitcher.

“I love playing at home,” Vainer said. “We’re used to that environment. On the road, each mound is different, at home it’s like sleeping in your bed, and you’re going to sleep comfortably.”

Currently 9-9 on the season and the last game of the home-stand tonight vs. Furman, Kilgore spoke on what he thinks the team needs to do to improve this season.

“Win the close games, we’ve lost a lot of winnable games, and that can’t keep happening.”