Columbia, S.C. – The sixth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks used the long ball to take game one of the Southeastern Conference opener from the 27th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks 7-2 Friday night.Arkansas fell to 14-2 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, while South Carolina improved to 15-3 overall and 1-0 in league.
South Carolina’s Brian Buscher led the way offensively with a pair of home runs, one solo and one two-run blast, as the Gamecocks won their third straight over the Razorbacks.
Charley Boyce (3-1) took the loss for Arkansas after throwing eight innings and allowing seven runs, all earned, on nine hits. Boyce fanned four and walked his first batter of the season, a span of 29.2 innings.
Steven Boundurant (2-0) earned the win for South Carolina. Bondurant pitched five innings and gave up two runs, earned, on seven hits and struck out six. Aaron Rawl earned his second save of the season after throwing four innings of scoreless ball.
The Razorbacks and Gamecocks combined to score all nine runs in the game with two outs.
South Carolina took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Bondurant hit a solo dinger over the left field wall for the first run. Later in the first, Bryan Triplett belted a two-run blast to right for an early three-run advantage.
Arkansas made it a one-run game in the top of the third. Scott Hode reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a single by Brett Hagedorn. With two outs, Andrew Wishy doubled to right to plate Hagedorn and put runners on second and third. Ryan Fox chopped back to the pitcher to end the inning.
Arkansas would strand five base runners over the next three innings, and nine for the game, as South Carolina fought off several scoring threats.
The Gamecocks made it a 5-2 game in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run double by Landon Powell.
South Carolina increased the lead to 7-2 on Buscher’s two-run bomb that sailed over the scoreboard in right-centerfield.
Rawl held the Razorbacks to only two hits over the final four innings play to hand Arkansas its first conference loss of the season.
Clay Goodwin extended his career-best hitting streak to 10 games with a 2-for-4 performance.
Arkansas and South Carolina will play game two of the series Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) from Sarge Frye Field.