Arkansas Outlasts South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. - When Mike Bolsinger gets his stuff going, the other team can just forget about it.

Doing everything they could late in the game to rally and ruin Arkansas' first trip to Carolina Stadium, the Gamecocks simply had no answer for what Bolsinger was bringing to the table. After allowing a Whit Merrifield home run as soon as he entered the game in relief in the seventh inning, Bolsinger buckled down and sealed up another road win in the Southeastern Conference as Arkansas outlasted South Carolina, 6-4 on Friday in front of announced crowd of 6,461.

"It seems like it's been like that my whole life," Bolsinger said. "It takes a little while to get warmed up, but once I'm warmed up after a hitter or two I'm on cruise control."

Bolsinger entered in the seventh with Arkansas (21-5, 9-1) holding a 6-2 lead thanks to a three-inning scoring spree in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. A solo home run by Scott Lyons and a three-run shot by Zack Cox helped the Razorbacks overcome an early 1-0 deficit, but in the seventh Bolsinger quickly gave two runs back when Merrifield took the third pitch he saw from the righthander reliever and sailed a fastball into the South Carolina bullpen to pull the Gamecocks (19-9, 4-6) to within 6-4.

"The ball they hit out of the park, he hung it a little bit and he hit it pretty good," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "It wasn't a bad pitch, but he was lights out for us in the ninth. He threw a couple of breaking balls that froze some guys and that was good for us."

Bolsinger struck out the final five hitters he faced and completely fooled the top of the Gamecocks' order to end the game, giving Arkansas the ever-important Friday night win to open the series.

"That was a game that almost got away from us," Van Horn said. "You build up a five-run lead and they just kept chipping away. A lot of times it's hard to slow that momentum down unless you score, and we didn't score. But we got out of a bases loaded jam and another one with a runner on second with two outs didn't score.

"So that was one for the pitchers. They did a good job. Dallas (Keuchel) gave us about seven innings. He got a little tired there at the end and starting leaving some pitches up, and then Mike (Bolsinger) came in and did a super job."

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