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Arkansas Downs No. 1 South Carolina Again, Tak

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Downs No. 1 South Carolina Again, Tak
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas starter Matt Riethmaier scattered three hits in a career-best 7 2/3 innings and Kyle Washburn had three hits to lead the Razorbacks to a 9-3 win over No. 1 South Carolina on Sunday in the finale of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.

Arkansas (22-29, 6-19 SEC) got its sixth win in its last eight games and joined LSU as the only teams to defeat South Carolina (46-6, 22-5 SEC) twice this season. The Gamecocks suffered back-to-back losses for just the second time this year.

The Hogs closed out their home schedule with their second SEC series victory in as many weeks and fifth-consecutive series win over the Gamecocks. USC won Friday’s series opener 8-2. Despite UA’s 11-10 win on Saturday, South Carolina clinched its first SEC baseball title when Florida defeated Mississippi State late Saturday.

Riethmaier (2-4) allowed three runs (one earned) while striking out four and working around six walks to earn his second win of the week. Cliff Lee, who earned the save in Saturday’s win, held the Gamecocks hitless and struck out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings to preserve the win. On Tuesday, the Hogs used the Riethmaier-Lee combination for a 7-2 win over Southwest Missouri State.

For the second day in a row, UA handed the South Carolina starter his first loss of the season. The Hogs rocked Breck Price (3-1) on Sunday for three runs (earned) on two hits and three walks in just one-third of an inning.

The Razorbacks sent nine men to the plate in the first inning for three runs, including bases-loaded walks to Nick Pitts and Brian Kirby. USC answered with a run in the top of the third on an RBI groundout by Marcus McBeth.

UA sent 12 batters to the plate and broke the game open with a five-run fourth inning. After a sacrifice fly by Scott Crossett and an RBI double by Jeff Hoefler, Wes McCrotty poked a bases-loaded triple into left field to clear the bases for an 8-1 Razorback lead.

South Carolina exploited a two-out error by Washburn at third base for two unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning, including an RBI double by Nate Janowicz that brought Lee out of the UA bullpen.

UA added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Washburn, who went 8-for-12 in the series.

Lee struck out Drew Meyer to end the eighth and got Bo Mobley and Tim Whittaker swinging for the final two outs in the ninth.

Crossett extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games with a first-inning single and singled again in the fourth inning. Tripp Kelly led the Gamecocks with two hits.

Prior to the game, UA paid tribute to its senior class – Greg Blum, Brad Bohannan, Brad Hagedorn, Bart Hester, Travis McDaniel, Mike Moriarity and Jack Welsh.

The Razorbacks conclude the 2000 season next weekend with a three-game SEC series at Mississippi beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series continues Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT. USC travels to Durham, N.C., to face Duke on Wednesday before hosting Tennessee for a three-game SEC series next weekend. The Gamecocks will be the top seed at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., May 17-21.



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