May 14, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina dropped the first of a three-game series to Arkansas, falling 6-2 on Friday night/Saturday morning at Carolina Stadium.
The Gamecocks (39-11, 18-7 SEC) tied a season-high by committing five errors, leading to four of the six runs for the Razorbacks (33-15, 13-12).
Arkansas starter D.J. Baxendale (8-1) worked six-plus innings and allowed one run on six hits with six strikeouts and three walks. South Carolina starter Michael Roth (10-2) allowed three runs, two earned, on 10 hits in 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and a walk. Both of Roth's losses on the season have come in games where the Gamecocks committed five errors; the other was a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Georgia on March 18.
Four Gamecocks accounted for Carolina's seven hits on the night. DeSean Anderson led the way with a 2-3 effort that included a double, an RBI and a run scored. Scott Wingo and Brady Thomas also had two hits apiece; Evan Marzilli scored the Gamecocks' other run.
Arkansas would break ahead 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning. Dominic Ficociello singled and with one out stole second base. On the play, he advanced to third as a throw by catcher Brady Thomas went into center field. With an out and runners on first and third base, Roth struck out pinch hitter Jacob Rice. On the play, Matt Reynolds stole second base and a throw to nab him by Thomas went into the outfield allowing Ficociello to score and Reynolds to reach third base. A slow chopper by Jarrod McKinney scored Reynolds then as he just beat a throw from Adrian Morales at first base to give the Razorbacks a two-run cushion.
The Razorbacks increased the lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth inning. Matt Reynolds led off with a double to the gap in right-center and after being sacrificed over to third scored on McKinney's RBI base hit to center field. Arkansas would then make it 4-0 in the seventh when, with the bases loaded, an attempt to cut down Collin Kuhn with the force play at home was ruled to have pulled the Carolina catcher off the plate, scoring the run on the Gamecocks' fourth error of the day.
South Carolina responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff walk to Marzilli and a base hit from Robert Beary put runners at the corners with no out. Anderson then grounded to the shortstop, reaching on a fielder's choice while Marzilli scored from third to make it 4-1. However, the Gamecocks would leave two runners in scoring position, ending one of their best scoring threats of the night.
Arkansas increased its lead to 6-1 with RBI singles from James McCann and Ficociello in the eighth, and the Gamecocks would tack one on in the ninth as Anderson singled and scored on a throwing error to make it 6-2.
The game, scheduled for an 8 p.m. start, was delayed by rain for two hours and ended at approximately 1:22 a.m. Saturday morning.
Game two of the series is set for 4:30 p.m. with the game televised live on SportSouth. Saturday is also Senior Day. Fans are encouraged to arrive by 4:10 p.m. to honor the six Gamecock seniors for this year (Robert Beary, Jose Mata, Adrian Morales, John Taylor) Brady Thomas, Scott Wingo). Saturday's game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network.
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