Eli Ellington and Trey Jernigan were exceptional on the mound for the Mountaineers Saturday, but a go-ahead home run by Georgia State in the eighth inning turned the tide in the Panthers favor, as App State fell, 4-2, at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Tied 1-1 in the top of the eighth inning, Andrew Terrell singled with one out, and after advancing to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a single from Luke Drumheller, but the Mountaineers were unable to plate a run in the inning, stranding men at the corners.
In the bottom half of the frame, Georgia State (27-21, 12-11) put together the only multi-run inning of the ballgame, as they plated two runs on a go-ahead home run from Griffin Cheney, and added a run later in the frame on an RBI double, to take a 4-1 lead.
App State (15-28, 6-17) pitching had been sensational to that point. Ellington made the first start of his Mountaineer career, and began the ballgame with a strikeout and a double-play in a scoreless first inning. The lefty went on to work 3.2 innings, giving up just one run on two hits, while striking out four. The lone blemish on his line was a fourth inning home run from Luke Boynton, which gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Jernigan followed Ellington out of the bullpen, and recorded a pickoff to finish the fourth inning without facing a batter. Jernigan went on to retire the next eight batters he faced, and ultimately worked 3.1 scoreless innings, yielding just one hit, while striking out three.
App State tied the score in the sixth inning, when Andrew Greckel launched a solo home run to straight away center field, his third of the season, to knot the score at 1-1.
The Mountaineers did put together a rally in the ninth inning, scoring a run when Alex Aguila reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Hayden Cross, who led off with a single, to come into score, but App State stranded the tying run on base to end the ballgame. The Mountaineers out-hit the Panthers 8-5, led by Terrell’s three-hit afternoon.