Fayetteville, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorbacks earned a series win over the fourth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks with a 5-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.Arkansas improved to 17-8 overall and 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference, while South Carolina dropped to 20-4 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.
Jay Sawatski (3-2) earned the win after pitching three innings in relief of starter Charley Boyce. Sawatski allowed two runs, both earned, on five hits with no walks.
Caton Hall pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his third save of the season. Hall also picked up the win Friday night against South Carolina.
Aaron Rawl (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season after giving up five runs, all earned, on 10 hits in six and one-third innings of work.
Playing in gusty conditions all day, the Razorbacks got five solid innings from Boyce who allowed two runs, both earned, on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
The victory gave the Razorbacks three straight series’ wins over South Carolina dating back to the 2002 season. Arkansas has won six of the last seven regular-season games against South Carolina.
For the second straight day the Gamecocks got on the board in the first inning. With two outs, Landon Powell singled to left to score Steve Pearce from second and give South Carolina a 1-0 lead.
The Razorbacks tied the game in the second when Blake Parker singled home Haas Pratt from second base. Pratt reached on a single and moved to second on a single by Clay Goodwin.
Still in the second, Scott Hode gave the Hogs a 3-1 lead with a bloop single to shallow right field that scored Pratt and Parker.
South Carolina plated a run in the top of the fifth to pull within 3-2. With two outs, Tommy King laced a single to right to score Pearce from third. Brendan Winn attempted to score from second on the play, but Parker gunned him down at home plate to end the inning.
After Sawatski relieved Boyce to start the sixth, the Gamecocks tied the game at 3-3. Bryan Triplett hit a sac fly to right that scored Mark Stanley who pinch-ran for Hank Parks.
Defense helped the Hogs in the seventh inning. Following a leadoff double by Pearce, Winn hit a ground ball to Hode at short who alertly threw to Clay Goodwin at third in time to tag Pearce for the second out of the inning. King then flied out to right to end the inning.
Arkansas regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Parker flied out, Devin Day singled and then scored on a double to left-center by Hode.
Jake Dugger then singled to bring Rowlett to the plate. Following a pitching change, Rowlett walked to load the bases for Hamblin. On the first pitch, Hamblin lifted a fly ball to center that scored Hode and gave the Hogs a 5-3 lead.
South Carolina pulled within a run in the top of the eight after a pair of doubles. Davy Gregg doubled with one out and scored following the second out on a double by Triplett to left field.
Hall never gave the Gamecocks a chance to score as he retired the side in order to end the game.
Arkansas and South Carolina conclude their series Sunday at 12:05 p.m. Justin White (1-0) will take the mound for Arkansas.