Big Inning Dooms Diamond Hogs

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Things unraveled in a hurry during a disastrous fourth inning for Arkansas in Saturday's 12-3 loss against South Carolina in front of 4,290 at Sarge Frye Field.

Arkansas took a 1-0 lead into the fourth when South Carolina put up nine runs to essentially put the game out of reach.

"Offense is contagious as you saw," said USC shortstop Steven Tolleson, who was 2-for-5 with 3 RBIs. "Any time you have one guy hitting, more than likely you're going to have somebody right behind them that's swinging the bat well, too."

It snapped a 12-game winning streak -- the longest since 1997 -- for the No. 15 Razorbacks (17-2), who beat the No . 4 Gamecocks 9-1 on Friday. The rubber match of the three-game series is set for 11:30 a.m. today.

"You get beat like we did (Friday), you're awfully concerned," said USC coach Ray Tanner. "Early in the game, we just didn't seem like we were going to get anything going, but fortunately we were able to have a big inning.

"It was certainly a good bounce-back win for us."

Arkansas used three pitchers in the inning with starter Charley Boyce exiting after facing three hitters and not recording an out. He allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks.

Left-hander James Gilbert came in and quickly loaded the bases when Michael Campbell reached on a throwing error. Gilbert then hit Brendan Winn with a pitch which scored a run and pinch hitter Tommy King followed with a two-run double to end Gilbert's outing.

That brought on Devon Collis, who struck out the first batter he faced before giving up an RBI single to Davy Gregg, a three-run homer to Tolleson and a solo homer to Chris Brown to complete the scoring in the inning.

"There wasn't really anything positive for us," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "It started on the mound and, in that (fourth) inning, we just couldn't get them out. A little bit of everything happened in that inning. Sometimes teams get on a roll, especially at home.

"I mean, nine runs ... What can you do?"

The Razorbacks' offense didn't do much against USC starter Azc McCamie, who won his 12th straight decision. He was 7-0 as a junior last year and improved to 4-0 this season by scattering five hits in seven innings on Saturday.

"I know Arkansas is a swinging team," McCamie said. "They like to swing and they like to do it early in the count, so I was really trying to make the ball move early in the count by using a two-seam (running) fastball."

Arkansas scored its only run off McCamie when Brian Walker drove in Danny Hamblin, who reached on an infield single, with a line drive to left-center field in the second inning.

The Hogs finally showed some life with two outs in the eighth when Casey Rowlett drove in a run on a double to right-center field and Jake Dugger hit an RBI single up the middle.

"The way we look at it is it's just one game," Van Horn said. "We still have a chance to win the series (today), so that's what we're focused on."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories