South Carolina 5, Arkansas 0
FAYETTEVILLE - For years Arkansas has been South Carolina's kryptonite on the baseball diamond. This year the tables finally turned.
Sam Dyson picked up where Blake Cooper left off Friday night, pitching a complete game as the No. 8 Gamecocks flustered the No. 12 Razorbacks for the second consecutive day, winning 5-0 Saturday at Baum Stadium.
It's South Carolina's first series win over Arkansas since 2001 and the Gamecocks' first-ever series win in Fayetteville.
"It's been a long time," South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said. "Let's hope it doesn't go that long again.
"I was happy to see Dyson have a great day today. After the way Cooper pitched last night I knew it'd be difficult today and he pitched extremely well."
The Gamecocks (40-11, 19-7 SEC) became the first conference team to record 40 wins this season with Dyson holding one of the league's best offensive clubs to six hits a night after the Razorbacks recorded a season-low three hits.
"I thought Dyson had great stuff," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He commanded both sides of the plate and did a great job. His velocity was in the low 90s and just kept us off-balanced. That was pretty much the story of the game was his command and his pitching."
Dyson got plenty of help from the Razorback bats, needing seven or fewer pitches in an inning four times on the afternoon. The right-hander struck out eight batters and stranded 10 Razorback runners, including runners on the corners to end the game after Arkansas worked a two-out triple by Tim Carver and walk by James McCann.
"It wasn't a typical performance," Dyson said. "I've had some good performances on the road this year but nothing like this. I just kept battling and things worked out."
In just his fifth win of the season, Dyson set the tone early, working around a bases-loaded jam in the first inning to strike out Arkansas designated hitter Tom Hauskey to end an early threat.
The Gamecocks responded an inning later with a Bobby Haney RBI single to score Adrian Morales and give South Carolina a 1-0 lead that was never in serious danger.
"There are a lot of big situations that happen in the course of a game and that was one," Tanner said. "I thought Sam was throwing pretty good stuff and then all of a sudden, boom, they have the bases loaded. He got out of it and he pitched well today."
From that point on Dyson was nearly untouchable. He retired nine straight Razorback batters at one point and for the most part kept the 8,185 fans out of the game.
South Carolina extended its lead to 3-0 on a two-out, two-run home run by Brady Thomas in the fourth inning.
Senior Mike Bolsinger did the best he could to keep the Razorbacks (38-13, 16-10) close. The reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week followed up the home run by retiring 10 straight South Carolina batters but the Arkansas bats never woke up.
Bolsinger finished with 7 2/3 innings on the mound, giving up four earned runs on six hits while striking out six batters.
"He pitched pretty good," Van Horn said. "He made maybe one or two mistakes. The first three runs came in a situation where there were two outs."
The loss kills momentum gained after Arkansas' series road win at Ole Miss last weekend. The SEC's overall leader just three weeks ago, the Razorbacks have now lost three of their last four series, including two-straight at home.
Arkansas' loss coupled with Ole Miss' 4-1 loss to Alabama and Auburn's 18-0 win over Tennessee leaves Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn in a three-way tie for the SEC West lead.
The two teams will meet again Sunday with a first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Neither team has announced its starting pitcher.
"It's very important," Van Horn said. "You win a game and it's 2-1. You lose 3-0 and it's a big difference. We need to find a way to win tomorrow."
AROUND THE BASES
Zack Cox' first inning single Saturday was his 69th of the season, breaking Matt Erickson's record of 68 set in 1996...The shutout loss was Arkansas' second of the season and first since falling 6-0 at California on March 7. It was the first time the Razorbacks have been shutout in an SEC game since a 5-0 loss to LSU on May 2 last year - a span of 36 games...With Saturday's attendance Arkansas set a school attendance record for most fans in a season. A total of 179,548 fans have attended Baum Stadium this season.
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