4 reasons why Georgia State baseball remains atop Sun Belt

Georgia State has one of the most prolific offenses in the Sun Belt. (Georgia State, courtesy of Randy Wilson photography)

Georgia State has one of the most prolific offenses in the Sun Belt. (Georgia State, courtesy of Randy Wilson photography)

Here are four things to know about Georgia State baseball, which at 11-3 has a two-game lead in the Sun Belt Conference with a three-game series at Appalachian State starting on Friday.

 Spreading the wealth

The Panthers have conference leaders in home runs (Matt Rose, 11), RBI (Joey Roach, 35), hits (Ryan Blanton, 53), run scored (Blanton, 38) and saves (Kevin Burgee, 7).

It’s impressive considering there is overlap with just one player. It would be natural to assume that the leader in home runs would also lead in RBI and possibly runs scored. It shows the balance the team has on offense.

Rose is tied for fifth in the NCAA with 11 homers and has 26 in his career, which is tied for eighth in school history.

Roach is second in the conference in hits (49) and sixth in batting average (.360). But he’s more than just a bat, he has also thrown out 16 of 36 runners attempting to steal and picked off three others.

Burgee is the school’s all-time saves leader, needing just two seasons to set a new record of 15. Justin Malone held the previous mark, set from 2009-12.

Georgia State’s team batting average of .283 is second in the conference behind South Alabama (.289). But the Panthers have the best slugging percentage (.423) and the most total bases by 40 compared to the next-best team.

 

On the mound

The pitching staff has improved its ERA by nearly two runs compared to last season. The team ERA of 3.91 is miles better than the school record of 4.26 set in 2011. The bullpen is 12-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 11 saves.

Going late

The Panthers have won five extra-inning games since March 15. The team is 5-2 in extra-inning games this season.

Defense

Georgia State is second in the Sun Belt with 36 double plays turned.


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