ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Georgia State built a 10-0 lead after three innings and held off several UNC Asheville comebacks to defeat the Bulldogs 13-8 Tuesday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
The Panthers (21-28) were led at the plate by third baseman Drew Shields who went 4-for-5 with a triple and scored three runs. Landon Bennett added two hits and three RBI.
The Bulldogs (22-24) pounded out 15 hits in the game. Patrick Koontz and Aaron Wright had three hits each for the home team. Wright had three RBI, including a two-run homer. Senior third baseman Cody Buch went 2-for-4 with a solo homer. He extended his hitting streak to nine games.
"You can't spot someone 10 runs and expect to come back and win," stated Bulldog coach Tom Smith. "We did a good job battling back but it's hard to recover from a 10-0 deficit."
Asheville trailed 11-4 before scoring four times in the eighth inning to cut the lead to 11-8 and had the go-ahead run at the plate. Hunter Bryant's RBI-single lead cut the lead to 11-5 before Wright hit his third homer of the season to get the Bulldogs within 11-7.
Buch doubled for his second hit of the game. Cody Adkins followed with a run-scoring single to make it 11-8. Singles from Grant Gajdosz and Sam Turner loaded the bases with one out.
But reliever Jake Dyer was able to get a double-play ball to end the threat and keep the Panther lead at 11-8.
Georgia State added two runs in the ninth to give the visitors some breathing room at 13-8.
The Panthers tallied three times in the first off Bulldog starter Drew Spear (2-4). Shields' RBI-double plated Gabe Shivers with the first run of the game. Two more hits and a walk produced two more runs and a 3-0 lead.
Shields added an RBI-single in the second to push the lead to 4-0. Georgia State scored six runs, five unearned to pad the lead to 10-0. The Panthers had only three hits in the inning but an error, two walks a hit batter and a strikeout wild pitch allowed the visitors to build a commanding lead.
Asheville got on the board in the fourth on a solo home run from Koontz, his team-leading seventh of the season.
Buch hit a solo homer in the fifth to make it 11-2. Billy Creighton and Wright contributed run-scoring singles in the sixth to narrow the margin to 11-4.
The win went to Georgia State starter Connor Stanley (3-1) who pitched the first five innings.
The teams will play the second of their two-game series Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.