Gamecocks Fall 6-4 In Series Opener Vs. Arkansas
April 3, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Arkansas starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel limited the Gamecocks to three runs on seven hits and Scott Lyons and Zack Cox each homered as the Razorbacks defeated South Carolina 6-4 in the first of a three-game SEC baseball series at Carolina Stadium. Arkansas improves to 21-5 and 9-1 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 19-9 and 4-6 in the conference. The two teams meet again on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. A live audio broadcast is available at GamecockOnline.com and on the Gamecock Radio Network.
After an early run allowed in the first inning, Keuchel kept the Gamecocks at bay as he scattered seven hits up to the seventh inning. Keuchel would finish with 6.1 innings of work and struck out four and walked one. He improves to 5-0 for the year. Arkansas reliever Mike Bolsinger finished the game for the Razorbacks with 2.2 innings of work. He allowed one run on two hits. His strikeout total of six included five consecutive to end the game. South Carolina starting pitcher Sam Dyson suffered the loss and is now 4-2 on the year. He also worked 6.1 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits. He struck out a season-high seven and walked three.
"As expected, Dallas Keuchel gave Arkansas a great start," said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. "(Sam) Dyson gave us a great start. The difference was in the middle innings; they got to Dyson a little bit. We had some good approaches offensively, but we still ended up with only four runs. I thought that they pitched really well against us. They were solid as we expected them to be and the three run homer by (Zack) Cox was big."
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Whit Merrifield singled with one out and advanced to third base on a base hit by Nick Ebert. Merrifield would score on a RBI fielder's choice from DeAngelo Mack.
Arkansas came back in the top of the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead against Carolina. Dyson had retired the first 10 batters he faced for South Carolina before giving up a solo home run to Scott Lyons in the top of the fourth inning. Lyons roped a 1-0 pitch over the right centerfield wall to tie the game. The Hogs then kept it going with a single by Ben Tschepikow, a walk to Andy Wilkins and Jacob House's RBI single to score Tschepikow giving the Razorbacks a one-run cushion. Arkansas increased its advantage to 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning. Ryan Cisterna was hit by pitch to open the frame and after a sacrifice bunt would score on Chase Leavitt's RBI single.
The Razorbacks used the long ball again in the sixth inning to gain a 6-1 lead as Zack Cox struck with a three-run homer. After a leadoff single from Jacob House and a double by Brett Eibner, Cox launched the first pitch he saw from Dyson over the right centerfield wall putting Arkansas ahead by five runs.
South Carolina mounted a rally in the late innings with a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh. The sixth inning, Carolina loaded the bases with two outs with Justin Dalles driving in a base hit on a line drive that hit the third base bag that scored Ebert. Carolina crept to within 6-4 in the seventh inning as Merrifield greeted Bolsinger to the game with a two-run homer to right center. It marked Merrifield's fifth home run of the season.
Carolina out-hit Arkansas 9-7 in the game. Merrifield's 2-for-5 day at the plate included two RBI and two runs scored. Justin Dalles also had two hits. DeAngelo Mack extended his hitting streak to 10 games. A 0-for-5 day at the plate ended Jackie Bradley, Jr.'s hitting streak at 11. Arkansas leading hitter was House, who finished 2-for-3.