It’s time for round 3 in baseball between Georgia State and Wilmington.
Though separated by a few hundred miles, these two schools have become rivals in many sports in the Colonial Athletic Association, with baseball being perhaps the most intense.
The Panthers knocked the Seahawks out of the conference tournament two years ago. The Seahawks returned the favor last year.
The two teams will start a three-game series tonight at the “Harvard by the sea” at 6 p.m. tonight. Both teams are fighting to finish in the top four so that they may advance to this year’s conference tournament.
“When you come into the season you think about them as one of the teams you are going to be battling with,” coach Greg Frady said.
There are five teams battling for the four spots in the conference’s short tournament.
The Panthers, 33-13 overall, 13-8 in the conference and coming off a three-game sweep of Hofstra, are one of them. Wilmington is a game behind Georgia State. Both teams trail Delaware and James Madison, which are tied for first at 15-9. William and Mary are trying to fight their way into the picture. The Panthers have a series remaining in Williamsburg.
If Georgia State wins, it will likely be because of its pitching. To wit this season:
2010 totals for 58 games. Panthers finished 34-23-1
Batting average: .356
Home runs: 82
Opp. B.A.: .309
HR allowed: 71
2011 totals through 46 games. Panthers are 33-13
Batting average: .315
Home runs: 35
Opp B.A: .263
HR allowed: 18
“Wilmington’s always a big series,” pitcher Justin Malone (6-0, 3.76 ERA). “When we play them they are a totally different team. It’s kind of a rivalry for us. This one really stands out, just cause of the history.”
– Doug Roberson , AJC. Follow me on twitter @ajcgsu.