FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 10 University of Arkansas baseball team lost game two of its weekend matchup with South Carolina, dropping a 5-0 decision to the seventh-ranked Gamecocks. Tim Carver paced the Razorback offense with two hits but South Carolina starter Sam Dyson tossed a complete-game shutout to clinch the series for his team. The Hogs left 10 runners on base in the loss.
"I thought (Dyson) had great stuff," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "He commanded both sides of the plate. He was throwing his cutter and four seamer and he mixed in some breaking balls. He did a great job and kept us off balance. That was pretty much the story of the game. We had a chance in the first inning with bases loaded and two outs but couldn’t get a hit. We had another chance later with runners on second and third and two outs but couldn’t get the hit."
The Razorbacks had a scoring chance in the first inning but left the bases loaded without plating a run. Zack Cox got things started with a two-out base hit. The hit was the 69th single of the season for Cox, a new program record. Brett Eibner followed with a double to left field and after a four-pitch walk to Andy Wilkins, the bases were full. However, South Carolina starter Sam Dyson got designated hitter Tom Hauskey to look at strike three to end the threat.
Having escaped trouble, South Carolina (40-11, 19-7 SEC) turned right around to take the lead with a run in the top of the second. With two outs and runners on first and second, Bobby Haney drove in the Gamecocks’ first run of the game with an RBI single to center field. Arkansas starter Mike Bolsinger struck out Scott Wingo to get out of the inning without allowing any further damage.
The visitors extended their lead to 3-0 with two runs in the fourth. Jeffery Jones led off the frame with a single and eventually moved over to second on a wild pitch. Bolsinger struck out the next two hitters but Brady Thomas belted a two-run shot to deep left center to pad the Gamecocks’ advantage
In the bottom half of the fourth, Arkansas (38-13, 16-10 SEC) threatened again. Hauskey was hit by a pitch and Travis Sample knocked a base hit into left field. The runners moved up to third and second, respectively, on a Carver groundout, the second out of the inning. Dyson responded by striking out James McCann to end the inning. In his complete-game outing, Dyson allowed six hits and two walks while striking out eight.
South Carolina pushed two more runs across the plate in its half of the eighth to stretch its lead to five. Wingo reached on an error and was sacrificed to second by Whit Merrifield. Jackie Bradley, Jr., doubled home the first run of the inning and scored the second on an RBI base hit by Christian Walker. Geoffrey Davenport entered the game out of the Razorback bullpen to record the final out.
Against the Gamecocks, Bolsinger logged 7.2 innings of work, one out shy of his career-long outing. He allowed five runs-four earned-on five hits and two walks. He struck out six Gamecock hitters before leaving the ballgame.
"He pitched pretty good," Van Horn said. "They had five hits and scored five runs (against Bolsinger). They scored one run off an error, an unearned run, and a couple of walks ended up scoring but other than that, he did a pretty good job."
The two teams will return to the field Sunday afternoon for the finale of their weekend matchup. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium with Cox Sports Television (CST) airing the game live. Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) will broadcast the game on a two-hour delay. The Razorback seniors will also be honored Sunday as the team plays its final regular-season home game.