COLUMBIA, S.C. – Scott Wingo broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff game-winning home run to lift No. 4 South Carolina to a 6-5 win over No. 23 Arkansas on Saturday night at Carolina Stadium.
Arkansas is now 33-16 overall and 13-13 in the Southeastern Conference, while South Carolina is 40-11 and 19-7 in league play.
With the game tied at five entering the bottom of the ninth, Wingo hit the third pitch of the inning over the right-center field fence and into the South Carolina bullpen to give the Gamecocks a 6-5 win. The homer for Wingo was his fourth of the year.
Four different Razorbacks had at least two hits in the game, led by Bo Bigham, who produced three hits with a RBI and a run scored. Dominic Ficociello, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games, drove in two runs and had two hits, while Collin Kuhn and Jarrod McKinney each added two hits.
Wingo had three hits, including the game-winning homer, and drove in two runs, while scoring a run. Steven Neff also homered and went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Brady Thomas added three hits as well.
Matt Price picked up the win in relief for South Carolina to improve his record to 5-3. Price gave up two runs on two hits with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
Ryne Stanek took the loss for Arkansas to see his record drop to 2-2. Stanek allowed a run on four hits and struck out three in three innings.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Arkansas starter Randall Fant gave up five runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in five innings, while South Carolina starter Forrest Koumas surrendered two runs on seven hits and struck out six in 5.1 innings.
Arkansas had a great scoring chance in its first at bat of the game. Bigham singled and stole second to start the game and a Kuhn single to center field advanced Bigham to third. Koumas got Ficociello to strike out swinging and James McCann to foul out for the first two outs of the inning. A walk to Kyle Robinson loaded the bases, but Matt Reynolds popped out to second to end the threat and leave the bases loaded.
South Carolina struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first. Peter Mooney walked to lead off the inning and then moved to second on a one-out wild pitch. A base hit up the middle by Christian Walker scored Mooney. Thomas then singled to center, advancing Walker to third and Thomas took second on the throw to third. Jake Williams followed with a ground ball to third. Reynolds made a diving stop, but his throw to first was low and got past Ficociello, allowing Walker to score the second run of the inning.
The Gamecocks added another run in the bottom of the second. Neff doubled to the left-center field alley with one out and scored on a two-out single by Wingo.
The Razorbacks got a run back in the top of the third. Ficociello singled to lead off the inning and then moved to second when Robinson grounded out to third for the second out of the inning. Following a walk to Reynolds, Sam Bates singled into right field, bringing home Ficociello to cut the South Carolina lead to 3-1.
The Gamecocks stretched their lead to four with two runs in the home half of the fourth. Evan Marzilli singled to start the inning and with one out, Neff launched a two-run home run over the right field fence to make the score 5-1.
Arkansas started its comeback with two runs in the sixth. McKinney singled to center with one out and then stole second base. After a strikeout of Tim Carver, Bigham singled into right field, scoring McKinney. Bigham then moved to second base with a stolen base and came around to score on a double to left field by Kuhn.
The Razorbacks tied the game with two runs in the top of the eighth. McKinney led off the inning with a single and Carver was then hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. A sacrifice bunt by Bigham moved both runners into scoring position. With two down, Ficociello came up with a clutch single to right field, scoring both runners to even the game at five.
The series between the Razorbacks and Gamecocks wraps up on Sunday with first pitch slated for 12:30 p.m. (CT). Arkansas will start sophomore left hander Cade Lynch (4-2, 2.62), while South Carolina has not announced a starter. Sunday’s game will be televised on CST.