Arkansas upsets South Carolina with series sweep
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Matt Vinson broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run single in the top of the 11th to lift the 17th-ranked Arkansas baseball team to a 5-3 win over No. 6 South Carolina in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.
The victory for Arkansas completes the three-game sweep and improves the Razorbacks’ record to 17-7 on the season and 4-2 in Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina is now 18-6 on the season and 2-4 in league play.
The sweep for Arkansas was the program’s first over the Gamecocks in Columbia. It also marked the first time South Carolina had been swept at home since the 1999 season.
With the game tied at three in the top of the 11th, Arkansas broke the tie with a two-run rally. Jacob Morris drew a walk to start the inning and advanced to third on a one-out hit-and-run single to right by Joe Serrano to put runners on the corners. Tyler Spoon tried to lay down a safety squeeze bunt up the first base line, but South Carolina first baseman LB Dantzler flipped to the catcher at home to retire Morris for the second out of the inning. Anderson then hit a chopper deep in the hole at short. Pankake tried to throw Serrano out at third, but the throw was late to load the bases with two out. Vinson came through with a clutch two-out single to left field, scoring Serrano and Spoon to put the Razorbacks in front 5-3.
South Carolina did not quietly in the bottom of the 11th. The Gamecocks put the tying runs on base with two out in the bottom of the 11th. Colby Suggs was able to get out of the jam as he induced a ground out to shortstop by Joey Pankake to end the game and give Arkansas the sweep.
Arkansas finished the game with 12 hits and recorded 35 hits over the three-game series. Vinson had a team-high three hits and drove in two runs. Anderson reached base all six times he came to the plate. He finished the game with two hits, two runs scored and drew three walks. Serrano also had two hits and scored a run. Dominic Ficociello, Jacob Morris and Willie Schwanke each had run-scoring singles in the victory.
Pankake had two hits to lead the Gamecocks at the plate, while Dantzler, Tanner English and Erik Payne each had a RBI in the loss.
Arkansas reliever Trey Killian (3-2) earned the win. Killian retired the only batter he faced in the bottom of the 10th, getting a strikeout with runners on first and second to end the inning. Suggs picked up his first save of the season, striking out two in a scoreless 11th inning.
South Carolina reliever Tyler Webb (0-1) took the loss. Webb pitched well out of the bullpen, but allowed two runs on four this and struck out six in 4.2 innings.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Arkansas starter Randall Fant pitched well. Fant allowed three runs, only one earned, on three hits and struck out a career-high seven in 6.2 innings. South Carolina starter Jack Wynkoop gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out four in 4.2 innings.
South Carolina struck first, scoring once in the bottom of the first. Dantzler came through with a RBI single to right-center field, scoring Chase Vergason from third to put the Gamecocks in front.
Arkansas tied the game with a run in the top of the second. After a walk to Anderson and a double by Vinson put runners on second and third with no outs, Ficociello drove in Anderson with a RBI ground out to short to tie the game.
The Razorbacks took the lead with two runs in the top of the fourth. Schwanke gave Arkansas the lead with a RBI single to center and a RBI base hit by Morris later in the inning made the score 3-1.
South Carolina tied the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Gamecocks cut the lead to 3-2 on a RBI single to right field by Erik Payne. A bases loaded walk to Tanner English tied the game at three. Those were the last runs scored until Arkansas broke the deadlock with a pair of runs in the 11th.
Arkansas returns home to open a five-game homestand on Tuesday as it faces Mississippi Valley State in a two-game series. First pitch for Tuesday’s game has been moved to 3:05 p.m. due to forecasted cold temperatures on Tuesday night in Fayetteville.