FAYETTEVILLE – After a scoreless first six innings, Arkansas and South Carolina combined for 17 runs over the final three innings as the No. 5 Gamecocks defeated the 18th-ranked Razorbacks, 10-7, on Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks drop to 34-15 overall and 12-12 in SEC play, while the Gamecocks improve to 36-12, 16-8 in league play.
The game was quiet through the first six innings with the two teams combining for zero runs and only six hits. In the final three innings, the Gamecocks and Razorbacks combined to score 17 runs on 19 hits.
Arkansas out-hit South Carolina 15-10 in the loss and had four players record multi-hit games. Dominic Ficociello
led the Razorbacks with three hits, while Brian Anderson
, Bo Bigham
and Jacob Mahan
each had two hits. Bigham and Mahan also added a RBI. Jacob Morris
reached base four times, recording a hit, walking twice and getting hit by a pitch. Matt Reynolds
reached base for the 31st consecutive game after going 1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
Chase Vergason went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored to pace the Gamecocks offensively. Tanner English added a game-high three RBI with two hits.
South Carolina reliever Matt Price (4-3) got the win. Price allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings.
Arkansas starter DJ Baxendale
(6-3) was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits and striking out a season-high tying seven batters in seven innings.
Gamecock starter Forrest Koumas received a no decision. Koumas threw 5.1 shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out four.
South Carolina broke the scoreless tie with four runs in the top of the seventh. Christian Walker began the inning with a single that hit off Baxendale’s glove and rolled just behind the mound. Baxendale attempted to throw Walker out at first, but his throw was wild, allowing Walker to reach second. After a strike out of LB Dantzler, Grayson Greiner was intentionally walked putting runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Michael Roth struck out looking for the second out of the inning. Adam Matthews came through with a single to left field, scoring Walker with the game’s first run. Vergason then hit a single to center field and advanced to second on the throw. On the single, Greiner scored and Matthews moved to third. English had the third straight two-out single on a base hit to center field, scoring a pair of runs to put the Gamecocks in front 4-0.
Arkansas battled back in the home half of the seventh. Back-to-back singles by Bigham and Anderson to start the inning put runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved each runner up a base. Morris brought home both runners with a single to center field, cutting the Carolina lead in half. Jake Wise
had the fourth straight hit for the Razorbacks with a single to left to put runners at first and second. A sacrifice bunt by Tim Carver
moved the runners to second and third with one out. Mahan then grounded a single into right field, scoring Morris. Wise also attempted to score on the play, but was thrown out at the plate by English to keep South Carolina in front 4-3.
The Gamecocks stretched the lead back out to seven with a six-run eighth. Joey Pankake led off the inning with a single and Evan Marzilli was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third. Walker was intentionally walked to load the bases. After Dantzler popped out to third for the first out of the inning, Greiner grounded a single into left field, scoring two runs. Roth brought home two more runs on a double to the left-center field alley. An RBI double by Vergason and a RBI single by English brought home the final two runs of the inning for South Carolina.
Arkansas continued to hit at the plate, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Derrick Bleeker
singled to right and two-out walks to Anderson and Morris loaded the bases. Jimmy Bosco
pinch hit and had a clutch single to center field, scoring two runs to cut the lead to 10-5.
The Razorbacks tallied two more runs in the ninth and were a batter away from bringing the tying run to the plate. Sam Bates
led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a one-out double to left-center by Reynolds. Bleeker then hit a liner to center, but Marzilli was able to make a diving catch for the second out of the inning. Bigham kept the rally alive with a single to center field, scoring Reynolds. Anderson then hit a line shot, but it was right at Pankake at short to end the game and give the Gamecocks the win.
Arkansas is back in action on Thursday as it hosts Auburn in the first game of a three-game series. Game times for the series are 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, 6:35 p.m. on Friday and 2:05 p.m. on Saturday. The series opener will be televised on ESPNU as part of the ESPN/SEC Thursday Night Baseball Game of the Week package.