COLUMBIA, S.C. (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - The No. 17 Arkansas baseball team used a nine-run fourth and a five-run seventh inning to defeat sixth-ranked South Carolina, 15-3, on Friday night at Carolina Stadium.
With the win, the Razorbacks improve to 15-7 on the season and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play, while South Carolina drops to 18-4 and 2-2 in league play.
The Razorbacks pounded out 15 runs on 13 hits in the victory. The 15 runs were the most scored by Arkansas in a SEC game since scoring 17 runs against Kentucky on April 4, 2010, in a 17-16 win. Arkansas had double-digit hits for the third straight game and for the fifth time in the last six contests.
Eight of the nine position starters for the Razorbacks had at least one hit in the victory, led by Tyler Spoon, who had three hits and drove in five runs to increase his season RBI total to 31. Brian Anderson had two hits, including his first homer of the season, and drove in two runs, while Jacob Mahan and Joe Serrano also added two hits apiece. Mahan ran his hitting streak to 10 straight games with his two hits. Dominic Ficociello, Jacob Morris, Matt Vinson and Jake Wise each had one hit. Mahan and Morris each had two RBI. Vinson has now hit safely in seven straight games, while Morris is on a six-game hitting streak.
South Carolina had six players with one hit each. Connor Bright, LB Dantzler and Grayson Greiner each had a RBI in the loss.
Arkansas starter Barrett Astin (2-1) earned the win after allowing three runs on six hits and striking out five in 5.1 innings. Brandon Moore and Chris Oliver combined to throw 3.2 hitless innings out of the bullpen, striking out four.
South Carolina starter Evan Beal (2-1) took the loss. Beal allowed eight runs on six hits and struck out six in his 3.2 innings.
After a quiet first three innings, Arkansas broke the game open with a nine-run fourth. The first two runs of the inning scored on back-to-back bases loaded walks. Morris then drove home a pair with a ground-rule double to the left-center field alley to make it 4-0. A wild pitch scored the fifth run of the inning and Spoon drove in his first two runs of the game with a single to left. Anderson capped the scoring in the inning with his first home run of the season, a two-run blast over the wall in left field to make it 9-0.
South Carolina got three runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Dantzler and Greiner hit back-to-back RBI doubles to trim the lead to 9-2. A RBI single to right by Bright scored the third run of the inning to cut the lead to 9-3.
Arkansas responded with five runs in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and two out, Mahan hit a liner back to the mound that hit off South Carolina pitcher Joel Seddon and went into left field, scoring a pair of runs. Spoon then followed later in the inning with his second two-RBI single of the game and the fifth run of the inning scored on a fielding error by Dantzler at third base to make the score 14-3.
The Razorbacks closed the scoring with a run in the top of the eighth inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Spoon grounded into a fielder's choice to second, driving home Mahan from third for Spoon's fifth RBI of the contest.
Arkansas and South Carolina continue the series Saturday at 2:15 p.m. The Razorbacks will start junior righty Ryne Stanek (1-1, 3.32), while the Gamecocks will throw senior left hander Nolan Belcher (4-1, 1.25). Saturday's game will be televised on FSN and will also be available on ESPN3.com.