The Arkansas Razorbacks drew first blood in their best-of-three Super Regional series with the South Carolina Gamecocks, as the Hogs scored four runs in the seventh to win, 9-3, Saturday.
Arkansas led 4-3 after six innings in a back-and-forth affair, but Eddy Demurias kept Carolina close until Carson Shaddy’s bases-clearing double brought three home in the seventh. The Razorbacks brought home another insurance run with a Jared Gates sacrifice fly later in the inning.
South Carolina started out in front on Hunter Taylor’s run-scoring double in the top of the second, but Arkansas countered in the third with a Jax Biggers’ sacrifice-fly to even the ledger.
LT Tolbert and Madison Stokes hit solo home runs to keep pace for South Carolina, but Biggers gave Arkansas the lead for good with his sixth-inning RBI single.
Adam Hill failed to retire a batter in the fifth inning for the second straight start, allowing three runs and walking a season-high five batters.
South Carolina Head Coach Mark Kingston commented that Arkansas exposed their limited margin for error:
USC Head Coach Mark Kingston & USC players
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn, by contrast, felt fortunate to escape a Game One victory:
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn
South Carolina and Arkansas meet in Game Two Sunday at 3 PM on ESPN. Cody Morris (8-3, 3.68 ERA) starts for the Gamecocks facing Arkansas left-hander Kacey Murphy (8-4, 2.86 ERA).