Arkansas displayed why its the #1 team in all the polls Thursday night with a 6-1 win over 11th ranked USC at Founders Park in the opener of their three-game SEC series. Four Razorback pitchers limited the Gamecocks to two hits as they lost their fourth straight SEC series opener. And unlike the Gamecocks, the Hogs capitalized on what few scoring opportunities they had, especially with the long ball.
The Gamecocks were 2-10 with runners on, 0-5 with runners in scoring position. They left the bases loaded in the first when they had a chance to break on top. Then with the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the six, Josiah Sightler popped up a bunt attempt with runners on first and second and no one out. Colin Burgess followed with a double play ground ball to short to end that threat.
Arkansas broke the tie in the top of the seventh. A leadoff single was followed by a two run homer by Robert Moore on an 0-2 pitch by Gamecock starter and loser Thomas Farr. Moore, who has 10 homers on the season, also homered for the Razorbacks’ first run in the second.
One out later, Farr was called for an error on a play at first base. A wild pitch advanced the runner to second. Third baseman Jeff Heinrich then snagged a line drive, but his throw to second to try to double up the runner was wild, and the runner advanced to third. A single got the run in to make it a 4-1 game.
The Razorbacks added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, while the Gamecocks went down in order in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
Caleb Bolden, who came in with a 4.63 ERA, started for Arkansas and pitched into the fourth allowing both Gamecock hits and their lone run. The Razorback bullpen was near perfect for the final 5.2 innings allowing just a walk and striking out eight. Caden Monke got the win to improve to 5-0, and Kevin Kopps picked up his fifth save.
Farr had his longest outing of his career at USC completing seven innings. He allowed five hits and four runs, struck out five and walked two. His record falls to 2-4.
The teams will play a doubleheader Friday. Game one is set for 2:00 PM. The nightcap will start at 7:00 PM.