Georgia State's Logan finds offense, confidence

Panthers' first baseman works to keep team's energy positive as big game approaches

At a banquet before last weekend's CAA tournament, Georgia State coach Greg Frady gave a speech about a player he used to coach at Central Florida.

The player, outfielder Gregg Pacitti, had a lot of similarities to current Georgia State first baseman Bradley Logan.

Like Pacitti 12 years ago, Logan was preseason all-conference this season. Like Pacitti, Logan was left off the regular season all-conference team. Like Pacitti, Logan wasn't happy. Frady told Pacitti to go to the conference tournament and do something about it. He did. Logan, too, went out and did something about it.

Logan's four home runs powered the Panthers through the CAA tournament, and now they will take on host Georgia Tech in the NCAA regionals at Russ Chandler Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday.

"Bradley Logan is a winner," Frady said. "He keeps that mentality whether other people like that or don't like that. He brings that confidence to the team."

The biggest difference between Logan and Pacitti was Logan never went to Frady to discuss the all-conference team. The why was obvious. Logan finished the regular season hitting a modest .297 with five home runs and 38 RBIs. Fine numbers for a second baseman, but not a first baseman.

In fact, Logan went to Frady a few weeks ago and suggested that he move him out of the cleanup spot. Frady quickly shooed him away. But not before he told Logan that it looked like he was trying to pull everything.

Logan watched video and noticed that his coach was right.

For a week before the CAA tourney, he worked on staying back and driving the ball to the opposite field.

His four home runs? Three were to the opposite field and one to left-center.

"I was trying to do too much most of the season," said Logan, who, like Pacitti, won tournament MVP honors. "That's why I sat back and just said 'Hey, put the ball in play, drive the ball up the middle, opposite way.'

"I got hot at the right time."

Logan said the season has been a bit tough personally, but he's done his best to not let his season bring down the team's.

Even when their bus broke down outside Florence, S.C., for four hours on the trip back from the CAAs, Logan helped keep the team loose. They broke out the radar gun and clocked cars going by. They goofed off. Anything to stay loose and pass time.

"My role on the team is to come everyday with good energy for the young players," Logan said. "To show them to keep their confidence up."

After the team returned, Logan took some of the 500 photos his mom snapped at the CAAs and spent a few hours on Monday producing a digital slideshow, complete with music, for the team. His mom will be there this weekend with her new camera, shooting more photos, hoping Logan will get a chance to make another slideshow.

"That's Bradley. This is just another Bradley-ism," Frady said. "He did that for everybody else. When people are down, he's behind the scenes telling them 'Yes you can.' When they are up. He says 'Yes you did.'

"He's maintained the most wonderful attitude and is playing the best baseball of the year."

Atlanta regional

Who: Georgia Tech vs. Georgia State

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Tech's Russ Chandler Stadium

Radio: 88.5 FM, 91.1 FM