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April 5, 2009

Box Score

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – After South Carolina raced out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning, Arkansas scored seven unanswered runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to defeat the Gamecocks 7-4 on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium in the rubber game of a three-game SEC baseball series. The Razorbacks improve to 22-6 and 10-2 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 20-10 and 5-7 in the conference. South Carolina returns to action on Tuesday night hosting Clemson with first pitch at 7 p.m.

With South Carolina ahead 4-0, the Razorbacks mounted a rally beginning in the fourth inning. Arkansas used the long ball in the fourth with a solo homer by Jacob House and a two-run shot off the bat of Zack Cox. The Razorbacks then went ahead 5-4 in the top of the sixth inning. Brett Eibner opened the inning with a leadoff walk and Andrew Darr blooped a one-out single to right field to give Arkansas a pair of runners. With two outs and the runners still on first and second base, Leavitt tallied his fourth hit of the game with a double on a 3-2 pitch from Gamecock reliever Alex Farotto to center field scoring both runners and giving Arkansas a one-run edge. The Razorbacks added some insurance in the seventh inning with two more runs against Farotto. With runners on second and third and two outs, Cox drove in two more runs as he was able to bloop an inside pitch just over the head of third baseman Andrew Crisp into left field to score both runners. Farotto appeared to have jammed the left-handed hitter but Cox was able to put it in the perfect spot giving the Razorbacks a three-run lead.

The cushion was enough for Arkansas reliever Mike Bolsinger as he baffled the Gamecock hitters in six innings of work to close out the game and earn a victory. He is 3-0 for the year. Bolsinger allowed just one hit and one walk and struck out three batters. Farotto suffered the loss and is 3-2 on the year. He allowed three runs on six hits in four innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

“Obviously it’s disappointing that we scored four runs in the first inning and then proceeded to get shut out the rest of the way,” said head coach Ray Tanner. “I give credit to (Justin) Wells and (Mike) Bolsinger. They came in there and one-hit us through six. I knew four runs wasn’t going to be enough but Arkansas did a great job of battling back, they came up with a couple of big swings with the bat. Then they had (Zack) Cox with a home run and the ball that dropped right over the third basemen’s head and (Chase) Leavitt’s big two-strike, run scoring double. They battled back and came up with some clutch hits and we weren’t able to do anything after the first inning. I thought our pitchers battled hard and did a good job the entire weekend, pitching wise but we had trouble scoring runs ourselves. We got to give credit to Arkansas’ pitching for shutting us down.”

Arkansas out-hit South Carolina 14-6 in the game. Leavitt was on base five times with a 4-for-4 day at the plate with a walk as well. House finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and Cox went 2-for-5 with four RBI. Andrew Darr also had two hits for the Razorbacks. Gamecock designated hitter Parker Bangs was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead Carolina at the plate.

South Carolina jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jackie Bradley, Jr. had a single to start off the frame and Whit Merrifield and Nick Ebert walk to load the bases with no outs. Arkansas left-hander Drew Smyly then made a mistake as he balked to score Bradley, Jr. and advance Merrifield and Ebert to second and third base. That unleashed Bangs, who roped a double to right center to score both runners. That ended the game for Smyly with Arkansas going to the bullpen for right-hander Justin Wells. Bangs would eventually score the fourth run of the inning on DeAngelo Mack’s RBI base hit.

South Carolina starting pitcher Blake Cooper worked five-plus innings and yielded four runs on eight hits with a pair of walks.

Tuesday night’s home game vs. Clemson is the makeup date for a rainout earlier in the year on March 1. Only tickets from the March 1 date will be honored for Tuesday night’s home contest vs. the Tigers. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at