ATLANTA, Ga. - Butler slugged two home runs, but Georgia State had too much offense as the Bulldogs lost 12-7 in the season opener for both teams.
Junior Pat Guinane and senior Jimmy Risi each hit a homer for the Bulldogs, who led 5-1 after three innings. It was the first game since 2011 for Guinane, who finished 3-for-4 and scored two runs. The BU 3rd baseman sat out injured last season. Risi hit a solo homer to center in the 1st inning and walked in the top of the 3rd. Senior Lucas Calderon scored twice and freshman Drew Small drove in a pair of runs.
The game hinged on a seven-run bottom of the 5th for Georgia State. That inning featured a pair of doubles, two walks and a two-run single by Josh Merrigan. The second double of the inning, stroked by Chase Raffileld, scored three runs and the batter scored on a two-base throwing error by Butler. The big inning put GSU ahead 10-5 and the Panthers would hold on to the lead.
After Risi's homer gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead, Calderon and senior Radley Haddad walked and scored and Butler led 3-0. Up 3-1, the Bulldogs scored twice more in the top of the 3rd. BU scored twice more on a solo homer by Guinane and an RBI single by Small.
Sophomore Eric Stout started and pitched 4.2 innings, striking out six batters. He was relieved by senior Billy Laing. Freshman Bobby Napoleon pitched an inning as well. GSU reliever Ben Burns was credited with the win.
Merrigan finished 3-for 4 with two RBIs and three other Panthers each had two hits. The 5-9 spots in the GSU order were a combined 9-for-21 with nine runs scored.
The same two teams will continue their series Saturday, Feb. 16. Right-hander Kyle Kramp will start for BU against Georgia State's Garrett Ford.