Fayetteville, Ark. – Jake Dugger delivered a two-out triple that scored the game winning runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Arkansas Razorbacks beat the fourth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks 5-3 Friday night.Arkansas improved to 16-8 overall and 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina fell to 20-3 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Caton Hall (1-0) earned the win after pitching two innings in relief of starter Clint Brannon. Hall allowed only one hit and fanned three.
Brannon went seven innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits. Brannon struck out six and did not issue a walk.
Arik Hempy (0-1) took the loss after giving up two runs, both earned, on two hits in one and one-third innings. Hempy relieved starter Billy Buckner who went six and two-thirds innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits with 10 strikeouts and six walks.
The Gamecocks wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Michael Campbell gave South Carolina a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a two-run homer to right-center. It was Campbell’s ninth home run of the season and it came with Bryan Triplett aboard.
The Razorbacks answered South Carolina in the bottom half of the first when Dugger blasted a solo home run to left. It was Dugger’s second home run of the season.
The third home run of the game pushed the South Carolina lead to 3-1 after Brendan Winn took Brannon’s first pitch of the fourth inning over the wall in centerfield.
Scott Hode made it a 3-2 game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a towering solo home run over the left field wall. It was Hode’s second home run of the season and the second of the game for the Hogs.
The Razorbacks got out of a two on, one out jam in the sixth when Clay Goodwin cleanly field a ground ball by Tommy King and started a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning without a run crossing the plate.
Arkansas tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and two on, Haas Pratt hit a pop up to second base that hit off King’s glove. Kern Watts scored from second base on the play to tie the game at 3-3.
Danny Hamblin advanced to third on the play. Hempy then came in for Buckner and struck out Brady Toops to end the inning with game tied.
In the bottom of the eighth, Blake Parker flied to center for the first out and Goodwin was called out on runner’s interference for the second out of the inning.
Devin Day singled to shortstop and moved to second on a wild pitch. Hode walked to bring Dugger to the plate. On a 2-2 pitch, Dugger pulled the ball deep to right field for a two-run triple and a 5-3 Arkansas lead. Dugger finished the game with a home run, triple and two RBI.
Hall retired the Gamecocks in order in the ninth to end the game and give the Razorbacks their third straight win over South Carolina.
The teams continue the series Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Charley Boyce (3-1) is slated to take the mound for Arkansas, while South Carolina counters with Aaron Rawl (5-0).