FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Thursday was a bit of a disappointment for the Arkansas baseball team.
The Razorbacks dropped the opener of a three-game series with South Carolina. South Carolina entered the set tied for last in the SEC East. Arkansas entered in first in the SEC West.
Neither are true heading into Game 2, although the Hogs are still tied for the lead. Not a series Dave Van Horn’s bunch really wants to lose. Find out more below.
Arkansas baseball vs. South Carolina series information
Thursday, April 12, 2018 — South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2
Friday, April 13, 2018 — 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – 2 p.m.
How can I watch?
Games on Friday and Saturday are on SEC Network+ and WatchESPN.
Who is calling the Arkansas games?
Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter will provide the radio broadcasts on the Razorback Sports Network on IMG for radio, per usual.
Heck of a fun game scheduled for Tuesday, April 17. Missouri State and Arkansas have built a bit of a rivalry over the last three years. The two play at Baum Stadium that day. After that, back on the road for the Razorbacks. A trip to Mississippi State follows.
It happens. Baseball is like that. Arkansas outplayed South Carolina on Thursday night in the series opener at Baum Stadium. No win resulted. The Gamecocks, last in the SEC East, beat the Razorbacks, first in the SEC West, 3-2. Arkansas had but itself to blame.
The Diamond Hogs (25-10, 8-5) weren’t bad. They just weren’t good enough. Arkansas left the bases loaded three times and once more stranded two in a one-run loss. It was that simple as Carlos Cortes’ two-run home run in the fifth held up as the game-winner for South Carolina.
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn pinned the game on his bullpen; the same bullpen that has been the most enigmatic area of the team this year. He had to. Blaine Knight was laboring through the four innings (70 pitches) he worked.
Cortes turned South Carolina’s one-run deficit into a one-run lead. Barrett Loseke, in his first inning of relief for night, had a good pitch, but with the wind blowing out to left, Cortes’ ball just cleared the fence. On a normal night, it’s a deep flyball out. Thursday, it was a nail.
It was made more troubling because of what happened the inning before. Dominic Fletcher should have scored on Carson Shaddy’s one-out single up the middle. Had he, Arkansas would have gone ahead by two runs and Cortes’ homer would have only tied the game. Instead, he misread the ball, stopped at third base and Jax Biggers grounded into a double play the next at-bat to end the inning.
Arkansas loaded the bases in the fifth with two outs. Grant Koch flew out to leave the Razorbacks scoreless. They did it again in the seventh. Bases were full for Koch again after Dominic Fletcher singled off the pitcher. That time he finished at at-bat with a groundout to second.