Sunday, March 24, 2013
Columbia, S.C – Fifth ranked South Carolina rallied from a pair of runs down to tie the game in the seventh inning but 17th ranked Arkansas used a two-out two-run single from Matt Vinson in the top of the 11th inning to defeat the Gamecocks 5-3 on Sunday afternoon and sweeping a three-game SEC series at Carolina Stadium. Arkansas is 17-7 and 4-2 in the SEC with South Carolina 18-6 and 2-4 in league play.
Down 3-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Gamecocks fought back as Grayson Greiner drew a one-out walk and Connor Bright reached base with two outs on a fielding error by Razorback shortstop Brian Anderson. With runners on first and second, Erik Payne roped a single into the gap in right-center scoring Greiner to cut the deficit to one run. After a walk to Sean Sullivan loaded the bases, Tanner English worked a 3-2 count against Arkansas reliever Brandon Moore and then drew a walk scoring Bright and tying the game.
Carolina loaded the bases in the eighth inning with a leadoff single by Joey Pankake, a one-out walk to Greiner and Bright hit by a pitch with two outs. Payne with the bases loaded grounded to Anderson for a fielder’s choice ending the threat. Carolina had a chance with a runner in scoring position in the 10th inning as well. Pankake had a single to open the frame and after a sac bunt by Dantzler, Greiner would walk to give Carolina two runners. However, Arkansas got out of the jam with a popout by Schrock to the second baseman and a strikeout by Trey Killian on Bright.
The 11th inning saw Arkansas get the leadoff runner on base on a walk to Jacob Morris. With one out and Morris on first base, the hit and run worked for the Razorbacks as Joe Serrano lifted a single to right field giving Arkansas runners on the corners. The Gamecocks stood tall though as a squeeze attempt by Tyler Spoon was nullified on a great scoop by Dantzler at first base to nab Morris at home plate for the second out. With runners on first and second, Arkansas loaded the bases on Brian Anderson’s fielder’s choice to the right side. Pankake tried to get the force at third base but Serrano was safe on the attempt. The bags full, Vinson delivered for Arkansas as he laced a 1-0 pitch from Webb just over Pankake’s head at short after a great leaping attempt scoring a pair of runs for Arkansas.
Carolina looked to mount one more rally in the bottom of the 12th inning. Kyle Martin led off with a pinch-hit single off of Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs. With two outs, Chase Vergason drew a walk bringing Joey Pankake to the plate. Suggs worked out of the jam though getting Pankake on a groundout to end the game for Arkansas.
Killian earned the win after his 0.1 inning of work. He is 3-2 on the year. Suggs’ scoreless inning of relief earned him his first save of the season. South Carolina senior left-hander Tyler Webb suffered the loss and is now 0-1 on the year. Webb was valiant in relief with 4.2 innings of work and allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Webb had not allowed a run in 31.0 consecutive innings dating back to last year before the runs in the 11th inning by Arkansas.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Vergason reached base with one out on a hit by pitch. After advancing into scoring position on a balk, he moved over to third base on a groundout. With two outs, Vergason scored on LB Dantzler’s RBI single to right-center.
Arkansas answered in the top of the second inning to tie the game at 1-1. Brian Anderson led off with a walk and advanced to third on Matt Vinson’s double down the right field line. Anderson would score on Dominic Ficociello’s groundout to Pankake at shortstop.
The Razorbacks would go ahead by two runs in the top of the fourth. Anderson scored his second run of the game as he opened the frame with a single and scored on Willie Schwanke’s two-out RBI single to center field. Consecutive singles from Jake Wise and Jacob Morris followed to score Schwanke.
In his first SEC start, freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop allowed three runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Effective in relief was freshman right-hander Curt Britt as he worked 1.2 scoreless and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out a pair of batters. Arkansas starter Randall Fant went 6.2 innings and allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Arkansas had 12 hits with the Gamecocks finishing with six for the afternoon. Vinson went 3-for-5 with Anderson and Serrano finishing with two apiece for the Razorbacks. Joey Pankake had two hits to lead the Gamecocks at the plate.
South Carolina is back in action on Tuesday night at College of Charleston. First pitch from Patriots Point is scheduled for 6 p.m. and is available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.” It can also be heard at GamecocksOnline.com on the All Access Channel.