A five-run second inning and eight scoreless innings from right-hander Chris Oliver lifted Arkansas to a 7-0 victory over top ranked South Carolina in the rubber game of a three-game SEC baseball series. The Gamecocks are 26-5 and 7-5 in the SEC with Arkansas now 20-12 and 6-6 in league play.
Oliver limited the Gamecocks to just four hits and two walks while striking out 10 batters to improve to 3-3 on the year. South Carolina freshman right-hander Wil Crowe suffered the first loss of his career in the Garnet & Black. He is now 6-1 on the year. Crowe allowed five runs, four earned on five hits in 1.2 innings with three walks and a strikeout.
“We have to try and go back to the drawing board offensively and get better,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “We’ve shown flashes of it but against better pitching we’ve been overpowered. We have to regroup, a lot of the season (still) left to be played, a lot of games to be played, a lot of challenges with similar arms, so we don’t have a choice. Credit to (Chris) Oliver, he had great stuff and overmatched us. It’s disappointing the way we played tonight. We didn’t put up much of a fight. That’s tough to take. Getting beat on the road, that happens in this league. We have to be a little tougher and we’ll try to correct that.”
Arkansas sent all nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second inning to take a 5-0 lead. Clark Eagan drew a leadoff walk for the Razorbacks with Jake Wise walking as well with one out. With runners on first and second and two outs, Arkansas leadoff hitter Tyler Spoon won a nine-pitch at bat vs. Crowe as he reached base on an infield single down the third base line. With the bases loaded, Arkansas would go up 1-0 as Andrew Benintendi earned a walk on eight pitches. Joe Serrano would then come up with a key hit as he lifted a 0-1 pitch into right field for a base hit. On the play, right fielder Connor Bright could not come up with the ball cleanly allowing Serrano to reach second base. The Gamecocks would commit a second error as shortstop Peter Mooney muffed Bright’s throw allowing Benintendi to score from third to home. Brian Anderson made it 5-0 with a two-out double to the gap in right-center.
The Razorbacks increased the lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning. Arkansas loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Anderson and Eric Fisher and a walk to Clark Eagan. With one out and the bags full, Jake Wise let down the sacrifice squeeze to score Anderson. It marked the first run allowed by right-hander Reed Scott this season. They would add a single run in the seventh inning.
Arkansas’ 11-hit game included a 3-for-4 day by Anderson. Fisher and Bernal had two hits apiece as well for the Razorbacks.
South Carolina is back in action on Tuesday vs. Furman at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. First pitch is 7 p.m. with the game available on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, The Game.” Carolina will return home next weekend with a three-game series vs. Florida beginning on Friday night.