Boyce Trying To Figure It Out

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- At the end of the dugout, Charley Boyce stood with his hands on his hips for the last half of Arkansas' 12-3 loss to South Carolina on Saturday.

Boyce allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks with no strikeouts in three-plus innings. He's been responsible for both Arkansas losses and his ERA is up to 4.30 after Saturday's game.

"Everything was going good and I really can't tell you what happened," Boyce said. "I was out of the game before I knew what happened. But we were rolling there for a while."

The veteran of the Hogs' pitching staff looked like a fourth-year junior through three innings by retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced. In the first, Boyce needed only five pitches to retire the side in order.

But in the fourth, he faced three hitters and didn't record an out before Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn promptly pulled his starter.

"We had our whole bullpen available and (Boyce) was behind in the count a lot," Van Horn said. "They were taking good swings on him. He couldn't find a pitch to get them out with ... That's what we were seeing."

In a strange scene, it was Van Horn who made the first trip to the mound. Usually, Hogs pitching coach Dave Jorn is the first out to talk with a struggling pitcher.

"I was surprised to see coach Van Horn coming out," Boyce said. "I figured I would see coach Jorn and he started to take one or two steps towards me before coach Van Horn came out there instead.

"When I saw him, I knew it was pretty much over for me."

Boyce has been up and down in six outings and said he'll take some time to try figure out what went wrong Saturday.

"I can only spend a couple of hours thinking about it," Boyce said. "We've got a game (today), so I've got to do my part as a team leader to help us win and then start working on getting ready for next weekend."



Building Bridges

Hogs senior Scott Bridges' first-inning strikeout kept him hitless in nine consecutive at-bats. During that stretch, the Hogs' second leading hitter has struck out six times.

But Bridges ended the slump when he bunted for a hit in the third inning. He was later thrown out attempting to steal second, the second time in five games he was caught stealing.

Bridges still leads the Southeastern Conference with 18 stolen bases.



Streaking

Saturday's loss snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Razorbacks. Their last loss came exactly a month ago when Louisiana Tech beat the Hogs 10-8.

It was their longest streak since winning 13 straight games during the 1997 season. Last season, the Hogs' longest winning streak lasted eight games.

Another long streak almost ended Saturday, but senior Casey Rowlett came through with an RBI double in his final at-bat in the eighth. He's hit safely in 18 straight games.



First Time

Craig Gentry, who's played in the outfield all season, made his first appearance as a pitcher when he started the eighth inning. He gave up a two-run homer to Steve Pearce, but other than that, didn't pitch too bad.

"We didn't want to use another arm," Van Horn said. "He threw bullpens for us in the fall and he's going to be an emergency-type guy. And I thought he threw the ball pretty well."



Not Superstitious?

When asked after Friday's 9-1 win if there would be any lineup changes for Saturday's game and Van Horn said, "Probably not ... I'm kind of superstitious."

But on Saturday, Van Horn gave two players their first starts of the series with John Marquardt starting at third and Gentry starting in right field.



Back-To-Back Jacks

South Carolina's back-to-back homers by Steven Tolleson and Chris Brown in the fourth inning was the second time this season the power-hitting Gamecocks went deep in consecutive at-bats.

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