Top ranked South Carolina rallied with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to defeat Arkansas 2-1 on Friday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader.
Trailing 1-0 entering the top of the eighth inning, the Gamecocks broke through as DC Arendas got things started with a one-out double to the gap in right-center. He would score in the next at bat as Tanner English knocked a RBI double down the left field line. With two outs and English still on second base, Marcus Mooney hit a RBI single into right field giving the Gamecocks a one-run lead. Mooney has tallied 10 of his 13 RBI with two outs this year.
South Carolina junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery earned the win. He pitched seven-plus innings and allowed one run on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. His nine strikeouts tied a season high he set vs. Clemson on February 28. Right-hander Cody Mincey followed with a scoreless eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts and right-hander Joel Seddon closed it out with a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts as well. Seddon now has eight saves on the year. Arkansas starter Trey Killian suffered the loss and is 1-5 for the season. He allowed two runs on six hits in 7.2 innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Gamecocks had seven hits to just four for Arkansas. Mooney and English each were 2-for-3 to lead the Gamecocks.
Both teams had limited opportunities in the first five innings. Arkansas went ahead in the sixth inning. Brian Anderson reached base with a one-out single. With two outs and Anderson on third base, Blake Baxendale knocked a double off the wall in left-center for the first run of the game.
Arkansas took advantage of three Gamecock errors to score three unearned runs and left-hander Jalen Beeks pitched a complete game allowing just four hits as the Razorbacks defeated top ranked South Carolina 4-1 on Friday night in the second game of a doubleheader. South Carolina is now 26-4 and 7-4 in the SEC with Arkansas 19-12 and 5-6 in league play.
The rubber game of the series is set for Saturday evening with first pitch at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television and streamed online at ESPN3. It can also be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
“It’s disappointing the way we played in game two,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “It was really neat to see Jordan Montgomery throw the way he did in game one. It is a difficult place to play and their pitchers are awfully good, they can overpower and overmatch. We consider ourselves fortunate that we got a game. Tomorrow is the rubber game. They have another good arm going and we have a good one going as well. We’ll see what we are made of tomorrow.”
Arkansas broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Spoon led off with a base hit and scored on Brian Anderson’s two-out RBI single to left field. The Razorbacks increased the lead to 3-0 in the second inning with a pair of unearned runs. Krisjon Wilkerson led off with a walk. With two outs Michael Bernal reached base on a fielding error by Joey Pankake at third base. Arkansas took advantage as Spoon knocked a double into the gap in right-center scoring both runners.
Carolina got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single by Connor Bright. The Gamecocks were able to take advantage of a pair of errors by Arkansas shortstop Michael Bernal to put a pair of runners on base. Bright’s single brought home Pankake and cut Carolina’s deficit to two runs. The Razorbacks would get one back in the sixth inning to go back ahead by three runs.
Despite four errors, Arkansas’ defense came through in several key moments turning three double plays in the contest.
Beeks is now 5-2 on the year with the win. He allowed one run, unearned, on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. South Carolina sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop suffered the loss and is now 5-2 for the season. He allowed four runs, one earned, on four hits in 6.1 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.