Story from USC Sports Information:
Trailing 6-0 after three innings, third ranked South Carolina stormed back to score eight unanswered runs on the way to an 8-6 victory in 10 innings over Arkansas on Friday evening in the series opener at Baum Stadium. Evan Marzilli drove in the winning run with a RBI double and would score an insurance run on Grayson Greiner’s RBI base hit. South Carolina improves to 35-11 and 15-7 in the SEC while the loss drops Arkansas to 33-14 and 11-11 in league play. South Carolina has won 12 straight conference games. Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2.
Freshman right-hander Evan Beal earned the win and is now 3-3 on the year. He hurled three scoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed. Junior right-hander Matt Price hurled a perfect 10th inning to pick up his seventh save of the year, his sixth in SEC play. Arkansas reliever Barrett Astin suffered the loss and is now 2-4 on the year. He allowed two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
With the Gamecocks behind 6-0 entering the top of the fourth, the rally would begin as Carolina cut the deficit in half. Marzilli had a bunt for a base hit and Christian Walker drew a walk to open the frame. LB Dantzler drove in Marzilli with a double to right field. With runners in scoring position, Grayson Greiner and Kyle Martin would drive in the next two runs on a pair of sacrifice flies.
The Gamecocks tied it at 6-6 in the top of the sixth inning. Dantzler opened the inning with a base hit to right field, his second hit of the evening. Greiner would then square up a pitch from Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek for a home run to left field, his sixth homer of the season and the first home run allowed all year by the Arkansas right-hander. Trailing by a run, the Gamecocks loaded the bases as Tanner English was hit by a pitch, Matthews had a bunt for a base hit and Chase Vergason singled to the gap in left-center. Joey Pankake would drive in English with a sac fly to right field that tied the game.
It stayed that way until the 10th inning, when the Gamecocks made their move. Joey Pankake reached base on a single up the middle. On the play, he would move into scoring position as Arkansas shortstop Tim Carver threw wide of first base trying to nab Pankake. With Pankake in scoring position, Marzilli drove a RBI double into the gap in left-center that gave Carolina a one-run lead. After a two-out walk to Dantzler gave the Gamecocks two runners on base, Greiner gave Carolina insurance with a single up the middle. Hustling all the way from second base, Marzilli reached home as Arkansas catcher Jake Wise could not come up with the thrown from Carver allowing Marzilli to score. With an 8-6 lead, Price navigated through the heart of the Arkansas order recording three consecutive outs to seal the victory.
The Gamecocks had 13 hits while Arkansas had just seven for the evening. Greiner was 2-for-4 and tied a season-high with four RBI. Pankake, Marzilli, Dantzler and Matthews also had two hits apiece. Matt Reynolds went 3-for-4 to lead Arkansas at the plate.
The Razorbacks were aggressive early and broke ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Carver led off with a single and Jacob Mahan reached base on a fielding error by Gamecock second baseman Chase Vergason, as a high chopper off the bat could not be gloved cleanly. With bases loaded and one out, Jimmy Bosco laced a RBI single into right field that scored. Brian Anderson would then drive in the third run of the frame on a fielder’s choice as the Gamecocks just missed completing a 6-4-3 double play.
The Razorbacks extended the lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Bo Bigham led off with a single and Jacob Morris drew a one-out walk. After a double steal advanced the runners into scoring position, Craver drove in Bigham with a RBI groundout and Mahan tallied a two-out RBI single through the right side scoring Morris. Arkansas made it 6-0 in the third inning as Reynolds hustled all the way from second base on a lineout of the bat of Anderson to deep right-center to score the Razorbacks’ sixth run of the game.