After Saturday night’s disappointing showing, the Gamecocks got back into the win column on Sunday, beating the Razorbacks and forcing a third game on Monday night with a trip to Omaha on the line.
South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, after Carlos Cortes and Madison Stokes singled with one out and Justin Row came through with a two-out RBI single. Arkansas tied the game in the top of the third after a couple of errors allowed a runner to score, but the Gamecocks regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on a one-out homer by Row that made the score 2-1.
USC broke things wide open in the fifth, tacking on five runs. Cortes singled to start things off, Bride and Row both walked with one out to load the bases, and LT Tolbert came through with a grand slam to make it 6-1 Gamecocks. Hunter Taylor followed with a home run of his own that put South Carolina up 7-1.
The Razorbacks got a couple of runs back in the top of the sixth inning, thanks to a two-run homer that made the score 7-3. The Gamecocks added another run in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Stokes walked, Bride singled, and Row walked to load the bases again, then a wild pitch got Stokes home to put South Carolina up 8-3. Arkansas scored once in the seventh inning thanks to another home run, making the score 8-4, then scored the final run of the game in the eighth inning on an RBI sac fly.
Starter Cody Morris worked five innings and allowed four hits and one run. He walked one batter and struck four out. Morris also got the win. Graham Lawson and Sawyer Bridges combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. After being plagued by walks on Saturday night, USC benefitted from them on Sunday, 10 from the Razorbacks’ pitchers, which was the second-most given up by them this season. The Gamecocks did make a number of errors in this game - a surprising and unwelcome display - so hopefully they got all that out of their system for good.
South Carolina and Arkansas will meet again on Monday night in a winner-take-all game, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.