McWhorter thrives against Georgia State as Eagles win their fifth consecutive series

McClain Baxley and Kaitlin Sells

Following a big win of 19-5 on Thursday over the Panthers, the Eagles went on to win the series against in-state rival Georgia State by splitting the final two games.

After a three hour rain delay, first pitch in Friday’s game two finally came around nine o’clock. The Eagles were able to corral the win after midnight, 12-7. Game three was Senior Day honoring Matt Geiger and Chandler Corley, but the senior magic wasn’t enough for the Eagles to get the sweep, losing 5-4 to the Panthers.

Game Two: GSU 7, GS 12

Sophomore leftfielder Mason McWhorter was a huge contributor to the Eagles’ success in game two’s victory as he picked up three runs himself and contributed three hits as well. McWhorter was the one to start off the scoring for the Eagles as he hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the second inning.

{{tncms-inline account=”kells🔆” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another two-run home run from Mason McWhorter has increased the Eagles' lead to now 12-4.</p>— kells🔆 (@kaitlin_sells4) <a href="https://twitter.com/kaitlin_sells4/status/997294494205775873?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 18, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/kaitlin_sells4/status/997294494205775873″ type=”twitter”}}

The sophomore then made another important set of plays in the fourth inning in response to GSU putting up some points on the board. He first hit an RBI single allowing freshman Austin Thompson to make it to home plate and scoring himself following off a single RBI from freshman Christian Avant.

McWhorter wasn’t done for the night as he had another hit in the bottom of the fifth which allowed redshirt junior Tyler Martin to score and finally added another run in the bottom of the seventh off a sacrifice pop fly from redshirt sophomore Matt Anderson.

GSU didn’t have much luck, but did have a big third inning as they notched four runs and gave a last-ditch effort by adding three more in the top of the ninth.

Sophomore starting pitcher Seth Shuman was a big component of shutting the Panthers down as he only threw five hits and four runs in the five innings he was on the mound, along with pitching eight strikeouts. All four runs Shuman allowed were scored in the third inning.

Game Three: GSU 5, GS 4

With the first pitch in the series finale coming just 14 hours after game two’s conclusion and needing a victory to qualify for the Sun Belt tournament, the Panthers got on the board first in the third inning. Junior Cole Whitney got the start, but was relieved after two wonderful innings to save him for next week’s tournament.

Redshirt freshman Jacob Parker came in for his third career appearance, his first since a win over Kennesaw State. Parker allowed a double in the first batter faced, and a groundout advanced the runner to second before a single brought him home.

Two more GSU runs over just as many innings had the Eagles in a 3-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the fifth. Austin Thompson hit a single which scored Steven Curry and Jason Swan to make it a 3-2 game. The next inning, McWhorter tied the game with a Corley sac-bunt turned error and Avant earned their first lead of the game.

The agony then set in. Over the next two innings, the Eagles left six men on base while GSU regained the lead. The innings were salvaged slightly with a lead-saving throw from Avant in the top of the eighth.

{{tncms-inline account=”Captain” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">An INCREDIBLE throw from Christian Avant gets the Panthers runner out at home. State's coach doesn't like it. If this score holds, that throw will definitely be play of the series. Absolutely incredible from the freshman. GS leads 4-3.</p>— Captain (@McclainBaxley) <a href="https://twitter.com/McclainBaxley/status/997957805603786754?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 19, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/McclainBaxley/status/997957805603786754″ type=”twitter”}}

The lead would be given away though in the eighth with a game tying run off of freshman pitcher David Johnson. The Eagles left three men on base to send the game to the ninth tied at four.

A lone error in the top of the ninth gave the final run of the weekend to the visitors. Junior Lawson Humphries took his first loss of the year, but GS had to use five pitchers in the game.

What’s Next?

The Eagles end the season at 29-24, 18-11 in conference. The team will earn the fourth or fifth seed in the Sun Belt conference tournament, depending on results from Saturday night’s South Alabama and Troy game. The George-Anne will update when more information becomes available.

McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Sports Editor, [email protected]

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Assistant Sports Editor, [email protected]