May 17, 2002
In the final conference series of the season, Georgia State University (23-31, 12-16) was able to take the first game from Florida Atlantic University (39-15, 21-7 A-Sun) in ten innings 3-2. Danny Core pitched 9 1/3 innings but took the loss as Michael Nelson scored from second base in the tenth.
A pitching dual ensued until the fourth inning when Danny Core made his only mistake of the night when he gave up a home run to designated hitter Rusty Bennett. Bennett's drive to left field scored Stephen Burroughs from first base.
FAU battled back in the seventh when they scored after Rusty Brown reached after being hit by a pitch. A Jeff Fiorentino single advanced Brown to second before a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Derek Hutton then drove in Brown with a ground out to second base. With two outs and a man on third, shortstop Bobby Spano hit a high chopper up the middle, but a diving Michael Nelson stopped the ball and threw to first as Spano dove into the bag before the throw. The play allowed Fiorentino to score from third and tie the game at two.
Georgia State's starting pitcher, Ronnie Robinson would remain in the game until he walked Derek Hutton in the ninth. Robinson struck out four, walked four and gave up two earned runs while throwing 142 pitches. David Hawkins entered to pitch the ninth inning and earn the win to improve to 7-7.
After Hutton reached on a walk in the ninth, Bobby Spano would fly out to first and Gabe
Somarriba would strike out before FAU rallied. L.J. Biernbaum singled to advance Hutton to
second to bring up Mike Cox, who leads the team in home runs. Cox singled to left field to allow
Hutton the chance to score. A strong throw from GSU's right fielder Stephen Burroughs got
Hutton at home and moved the game into extra innings.
In the tenth Danny Core gave up a lead off single to Michael Nelson and a sacrifice bunt and a walk to make it first and second with one out. Closer Tim McNab entered the game to strike out the first batter faced before a hard hit ball by Burroughs squirted by third baseman Rusty Brown to score Nelson and give Georgia State the 3-2 lead.
Brian Strickland pitched the bottom of the tenth and retired the side to earn his sixth save of the season.
The two teams will meet in a 1 pm doubleheader on Saturday at FAU Stadium.
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