Williamsburg, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe baseball team held on for an 8-7 victory over the visiting Georgia State Panthers on Friday night at Plumeri Park. With the win, the Tribe improves its overall record to 24-26 on the season and to 14-12 in CAA play. With the loss, the Panthers fall to 34-17 on the year and to 14-12 in conference action.
Senior Logan Billbrough had yet another great start for the Tribe on Friday night, pitching eight strong innings. Billbrough, who improved his record to 7-2 on the season with the win, struck out 12 batters while allowing four runs, three earned. Sophomore Brett Koehler earned the final three outs of the game for the Tribe to claim his eighth save of the season.
Leading the Tribe's offense on Friday night were seniors Jonathan Slattery and Derrick Osteen , who each had a pair of hits and two RBIs. Junior Tadd Bower went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a walk, while sophomore Derek Lowe also had three hits, a RBI, and two runs scored. Sophomore Ryan Brown also drove in a run for the College.
After Georgia State scored the game's first run in the top of the second, the Tribe responded in the bottom of the frame to take its first lead of the series.
Starting off the inning, sophomore Ryan Williams drew a walk to get on base for Slattery. With Williams running on the play, Slattery doubled to right-center field, scoring Williams to tie the game at 1-1. After a groundout moved Slattery to third, Lowe singled through the right side to give the Tribe the lead.
After a Lowe steal of second and a walk to junior Chris Forsten, runners were on first and second for Brown. On a 1-0 offering, both runners took off on steal attempts. Lowe appeared to beat the throw at third, but when attempting to tag him, the ball fell out of the GSU third baseman's hand and trickled to the outfield, allowing Lowe to score on the error and Forsten to move up to third. Two pitches later, Brown grounded out to the Panthers' shortstop, scoring Forsten from third to give the College a 4-1 lead after two full innings.
With score now 4-2 William and Mary, the Tribe added to its lead in a big way in the bottom of the sixth. Starting off the inning, Slattery hit a towering home run over the fence in left field to start the Tribe's scoring. Slattery's third homer of the season gave the College a 5-2 lead.
One batter later, Lowe singled to left center and was joined on base by Forsten after he was hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Osteen came to the plate for the Tribe. On an 0-2 offering, Osteen doubled down the right-field line, scoring both runners to push the College's lead to 7-2. Bower was up next for W&M and blasted his third single of the day to right, scoring Osteen from second to give William and Mary an 8-2 lead after six.
Georgia State answered the Tribe's four-run inning with two runs in the top of the seventh to cut the Tribe's lead to 8-4. In the top of the ninth, the Panthers continued to cut in to the College's lead. With one run already in and runners on second and third, Koehler came in to the game for the Tribe.
After a walk loaded the bases, Koehler struck out the next GSU batter to record the first out of the inning. Ryan Fleming was up next for the Panthers and skied a ball to right field, scoring one on a sacrifice fly. On the throw back in, the ball got away from the Tribe right fielder, allowing the inning's third run to cross the plate. The Georgia State rally would stall there, however, as Koehler induced a groundout to record the final out, securing the 8-7 win for William and Mary.
The third and final game scheduled originally for 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 has been moved to a 12 p.m. start at Plumeri Park due to threatening weather forecast for later in the day.
The William and Mary Tribe baseball team will conclude it series with the Georgia State Panthers on Saturday, May 14 at Plumeri Park. The game will be Senior Day for William and Mary, with festivities starting about 20 minutes before first pitch, which is scheduled for 12 p.m.