Whit Merrifield homered twice including a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning and five Gamecock relievers combined for six scoreless innings as South Carolina defeated Arkansas 5-3 on Sunday afternoon to sweep a three-game series at Baum Stadium.
Ray Tanner postgame interview via the BigSpur
The win improves the Gamecocks to 41-11 and 20-7 in
the SEC while the loss drops Arkansas to 38-14 and 16-11 in conference play. South Carolina returns to action onTuesday night hosting Furman with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. The game will be televised live on SportSouth.
The Gamecocks are tied for first with Florida in the SEC heading into the final weekend of conference play and will host the Gators beginning on Thursday night at Carolina Stadium.
Trailing by a run, the Gamecocks made their move in the top of the eighth inning. With reliever Jordan Pratt intothe game for Arkansas, leadoff hitter Scott Wingo drew a walk on four pitches. With a full count, Merrifield drove a two-run homer to left center for his second homer of the game and 12th of the season giving the Gamecocks a onerun lead. The Gamecocks added some key insurance as Adrian Morales drove a solo homer to left center, his fifth of the season to give South Carolina a 5-3 lead.
That was enough for freshman Matt Price, who handcuffed the Razorbacks in 1.1 innings of relief to pick up a save,his seventh of the season and second of the series. Gamecock reliever John Taylor earned the win after twoscoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed. Taylor is now 3-2 on the year.
Arkansas reliever Jordan Pratt suffered the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in one inning. He is 3-1for the year.