The Razorbacks led for much of the game, but John Jones - who is known to be good at baseball - came through late in the game to help the Gamecocks raise their winning streak to 10 games and sweep the first SEC series of the season.
After both teams had a quiet first inning, South Carolina scored in the second inning to take an early lead. Dom Thompson-Williams singled with one out, Jonah Bride followed with a base hit as well, and Chris Cullen knocked a single too to get DTW home, putting the Gamecocks up 1-0. They had a chance to do more damage once the bases were loaded when Marcus Mooney got hit by a pitch, but they weren't able to capitalize.
That ended up being a problem, as Arkansas responded in the third inning with three runs, taking their first lead of the series. They got some help from South Carolina, as an error and a wild pitch led to a couple of runs coming in. The Razorbacks added three more runs in the next inning, again with some help from a defensive miscue by the Gamecocks.
Facing a 6-1 deficit and looking pretty out of sorts, South Carolina bounced back in the fifth inning. After Gene Cone made a great throw to keep Arkansas from scoring in the top of the inning, the Gamecocks cut into the Razorbacks' lead in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, LT Tolbert doubled, then Jones - who happens to be good at baseball - knocked an RBI single to make it 6-2. Alex Destino followed with another base hit, then a two-run triple from DTW closed the gap even more, making it 6-4 in favor of the visitors. South Carolina got the bases loaded again thanks to back-to-back walks, but again were unable to take advantage.
They did manage to pull one run closer in the next inning, though, courtesy of an RBI double by - who else? - Jones after Cone had walked with one out.
After a quiet seventh inning for both teams, which also included a great pickoff throw from Josh Reagan, the Gamecocks rallied in the bottom of the eighth. Cone singled with one out, Tolbert walked, and Jones - A GOOD BASEBALL PLAYER - blasted a three-run homer to put South Carolina back on top. Arkansas went down quietly in the ninth, and that was that.
Jones finished the day 3-for-5 with five RBIs. He's been tremendous all season, so it's not really surprising that he came through in the clutch again today, but HE IS JUST SO GOOD AT BASEBALL. From a bigger perspective, it was great to see the team rally to bounce back from a fairly decent-sized deficit and several fielding errors. Last year's team wasn't so good at that, and truthfully, they likely would've come away from this game with a loss. This year's team seems to have some more fight in them, at least so far, which is encouraging.
Starting pitcher Adam Hill got off to a good start in the first inning, but struggled a bit after that. He was pulled in the third inning after allowing four hits, five runs, walking one batter, and striking out five. He also hit a batter and had a wild pitch. Vince Fiori, Reed Scott, and Josh Reagan also pitched today, with Scott and Reagan in particular doing a really nice job. Reagan earned the win, his first of the season.
The Gamecocks are now 20-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play, while Arkansas falls to 15-6 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. South Carolina will be back in action on Thursday, when they travel to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT.