Highlights: baseball, softball and tennis

by D’Mitri Chin-Harrison, Christian Crittenden and Rashad Milligan,

Pitcher Wayne Wages warms up as teammates watch during a baseball game March 5, 2016.
Photo by Dayne Francis | Signal Archives

Georgia State is off to a 2-0 start to the baseball season

Opening day could not have gone better for Georgia State baseball program, as the Panthers cruised to an  8-3 win over Marshall in the Atlanta Challenge on Feb. 17 at the GSU Baseball Complex. The seniors made a significant impact for Georgia State during the first game of the season— in particular, Ryan Blanton, Cam Sperry and Bryce Conley. Blanton was the lead off hitter and smoked a homer to initiate the first blow for the Panthers. From there, the Panthers never looked back. Sperry had a very efficient performance swinging the bat, as he went an impressive 4-for-4 at the plate. Conley got the nod as the Panthers’ starting pitcher and only allowed one unearned run on two hits in 5.1 innings. He also tied his career-high with nine strikeouts to earn the victory.

The Panthers played their second game on Feb. 18 and had another impressive outing with a win 6-4 win against Western Michigan. Blanton continued his hot-streak, as he drove in two runs. Will Kilgore contributed to the team’s success with a two-run single. Freshman Hunter Gaddis earned the win in relief, and Rhett Harper recorded his first career save.

Georgia State will wrap up the Atlanta Challenge by facing BYU on Monday at 4 p.m.

Pitcher Annie Davis winds up on the mound during a game at the Robert Heck Softball Complex.
Photo by Jeff Hurndon | Georgia State Athletics

Panthers go 3-1 in the Osprey Invitational

The Georgia State softball team went 3-2 over the past week. They started the week off with an 8-3 loss to Georgia Tech.  Pitcher Kinsley Jennings homered in her first-at-bat as a Panther.  The team packed its bags and headed for Jacksonville, Florida to compete in the in the Osprey Invite.  The Panthers won the first game of the invitational 8-0 after they defeated South Carolina State. Outfielder Megan Litumbe homered for the first time since her injury that kept her sidelined for all of last season. The Panthers took care of business in the second tilt of the day with a 5-4 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. The Panthers were fueled by a pinch hit grand slam from freshman Kylee Love. The Panthers split games on day two of the invitational. They took care of business against South Dakota State winning by a score of 5-4. Center fielder Morgan Brown had four hits, and two RBI’s. The Panthers dropped the fourth and final game of the weekend to North Florida 7-6 in nine innings.  Right fielder Reagan Morgan led the way with three hits and three RBI’s.

The Panthers are off until Feb. 22 when they travel to Macon, Georgia to square off against Mercer.

Submitted by Georgia State Athletics

Panthers go undefeated in Tennessee

Junior Sebastian Acuna clinched his first match point of the season on Feb. 18 when Georgia State defeated UAB, 4-1. Zack Kennedy/Quentin Coulaud and Felipe Jaworski/Jack MacFarlane both won in doubles play, while Andrei Andrukhou and Jack MacFarlane joined Acuna as winners in singles play. The Panthers then faced Eastern Tennessee State University in the final match of the ETSU Shootout.

Georgia State went down 3-0, by losing the doubles point in straight matches. Then, No. 84 Kennedy lost to No. 88 David Biosca and Jannis Koeke fell to No. 69 Robert Herrera. MacFarlane, Coulaud and Acuna tied the match with wins for the Panthers. Andrukhou would clinch his second match of the season, resulting in a 4-3 Georgia State win by squeezing out of the team’s final singles set against No. 96 Diego Nunez, 6-4.

I thought each guy went into their match with a resilient attitude and that really helped us come back from being down 3-0,” Georgia State men’s tennis Head Coach Brett Ross said in a press release. “Congrats to Andrei for putting the team on his back and coming through with a clutch effort to clinch the match.”

The Panthers return to action this weekend by going on the road to face Louisville on Feb. 23, before returning to Piedmont Park to host Middle Tennessee on Feb. 19.