FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Dallas Keuchel pitched the Razorback baseball team to a series sweep of South Carolina, 4-2, on senior day in a crucial Southeastern Conference series with a career high 10 strikeouts on Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas (31-21, 13-13 SEC) records its first SEC series sweep of the season and first since the Razorbacks dispatched the Florida Gators in mid-April, 2007.The Arkansas victory could put the Razorbacks as high as fifth in the overall SEC standings depending on the results of the rest of the league.South Carolina (34-18, 13-14 SEC) continues to struggle against a Dave Van Horn coached Arkansas squad as it now stands at 4-11 against the Razorbacks since 2003.
The Razorbacks entered the weekend without naming a Sunday afternoon starter, instead waiting to see what pitchers might be available after the conclusion of Saturday night’s game.Keuchel was the clear choice for the Arkansas coaching staff and the Tulsa, Okla., native did not disappoint his coaches as he tossed eight innings of five hit baseball while striking out his career high 10 batters.
Keuchel would leave the game to a standing ovation from the Razorback crowd with a 4-0 lead in the top of the ninth after allowing a single to the #3 hitter in the South Carolina lineup.Keuchel’s replacement, Mike Bolsinger, would give up a two-run home run to the first batter he faced, but settled in to get the next three hitters and complete the series sweep.
The Razorback bats were not nearly as loud as they had been in games one and two of the series, but did enough to put Arkansas on top with six hits and four runs scored.Six different Razorbacks would record hits while four Hogs would score runs.The game-winning stroke came off the bat of freshman Andy Wilkins who laced a pitch to right center in the fourth inning to score Arkansas’ second and third runs.
Arkansas opened the scoring in the game in the bottom of the second inning when Wilkins drew a walk with one out.Jeff Nutt would get hit with a pitch forcing Wilkins to second and then a RBI single by Aaron Murphree with two outs scored Wilkins and put the Hogs on top.
The third inning would end up being the clincher as Wilkins’ RBI double plated to Razorbacks and made it a 3-0 game, more than enough run support for Keuchel who brought his ‘A’ game to the park on Sunday.Chase Leavitt would open the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Tschepikow.The Gamecocks chose to intentionally walk Logan Forsythe, who had been wearing out South Carolina pitching with six hits in eight at bats during the first two game, putting runners on first and second.A deep fly out by Casey Coon moved Leavitt to third leaving the door open for Wilkins drive to right center.
The Hogs would tack on an insurance run in the eighth inning when Coon delivered a RBI single against a drawn in infield with Ben Tschepikow on third base.Tschepikow had doubled to left-center field lead off the inning.
Prior to Sunday’s start, the Razorbacks honored their four seniors in a pregame ceremony.Travis Hill, Sean Jones, Murphree and Nutt each were given a framed picture and accompanied by family members on the field to the delight of those in attendance.
The Razorbacks are back in action on Monday afternoon when they host the Mississippi State Delta Devils at Baum Stadium with first pitch slated for 2:05 p.m.For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.hogwired.com.