South Carolina beats Arkansas after Knight exits early

By: Matt Jones
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018
Arkansas pitcher Blaine Knight throws during a game against South Carolina on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas pitcher Blaine Knight throws during a game against South Carolina on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Fayetteville.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - Final

Casey Martin reached on a one-out infield single, but Heston Kjerstad struck out and Luke Bonfield grounded out to end the game. The Bonfield call was reviewed and upheld.

Arkansas had plenty of chances tonight, but the Razorbacks stranded 12 base runners, including 11 in bases-loaded situations. Arkansas was only 6-for-17 with runners on and 2-for-10 with two outs.

Sawyer Bridges pitched 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen to earn the win. Eddy Demurius got the save with 2 1/3 innings of relief.

Barrett Loseke took the loss after allowing the two-run home run in the fifth inning. Blaine Knight remains undefeated, but took a no-decision with a season-low 4-inning outing. He allowed a run on six hits and struck out four.

The teams are scheduled to play again Friday at 6:30 p.m., but weather might play a factor tomorrow. Severe storms are forecasted for the area.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - Middle 9th Inning

Cody Scroggins retired two in the ninth, then Kole Ramage worked around a two-out single. The heart of the Razorbacks' order is coming to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, needing a run to extend the game and two runs to win.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - End 8th Inning

The Razorbacks went down in order in the eighth, including Carson Shaddy and Jax Biggers by way of strikeouts. Biggers, the leadoff hitter, is really struggling. He is 0-for-5 tonight and has stranded five.

Cody Scroggins will pitch the ninth for Arkansas against South Carolina's 8, 9 and 1 hitters.

The Razorbacks' 2, 3 and 4 hitters - Eric Cole, Casey Martin and Heston Kjerstad - are due up in the bottom of the inning.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - Middle 8th Inning

Evan Lee and Cody Scroggins combined to work a scoreless eighth for the Razorbacks. South Carolina's Jonah Bride reached on a leadoff single, extending his on-base streak to 30 games. Bride is from Owasso, Okla., only about two hours from here.

The Razorbacks will send Jordan McFarland, Carson Shaddy and Jax Biggers to the plate in the eighth. Neither team is doing much with base runners. Arkansas has 12 hits to South Carolina's 11.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - End 7th Inning

The Razorbacks put three straight batters on with two outs in the inning, but failed to score with the bases loaded for the fourth time tonight. Grant Koch hit a grounder to the second baseman to end the inning.

Arkansas has stranded 11 tonight.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - Middle 7th Inning

A strong throw from right fielder Eric Cole and a rocket relay from Carson Shaddy to catcher Grant Koch nailed Carlos Cortes at the plate after Madison Stokes' double.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - End 6th Inning

Both teams went down 1-2-3 in the sixth. Carson Shaddy made a bid for a game-tying homer, but he came up just shy in right center.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - End 5th Inning

Arkansas loaded the bases on singles by Eric Cole and Heston Kjerstad and a two-out catcher's interference, but the Razorbacks failed to score even after the catcher dropped Greg Koch's foul pop up behind the plate.

Arkansas is now 0-of-3 tonight with the bases loaded and 1-of-7 with runners in scoring position.

South Carolina 3, Arkansas 2 - Middle 5th Inning

The Gamecocks have regained the lead after Noah Campbell singled to lead off and Carlos Cortes followed with a home run into the left field bullpen. Greg Koch gunned down a runner to end the half inning.

Arkansas 2, South Carolina 1 - End 4th Inning

Jax Biggers has come up twice with the bases loaded and both times hit into an inning-ending play. Biggers hit into a 3-2-3 double play to end the fourth after the Razorbacks had loaded the bases with one out.

Carson Shaddy doubled up the middle in the previous at-bat. That probably should have scored Dominic Fletcher from second, but Fletcher hesitated enough that Nate Thompson held him up at third base.

Blaine Knight's game is over early as Barrett Loseke enters the game in the fifth. Knight threw just 70 pitches and allowed six hits. It's unclear whether he has some sort of injury, but it's strange to see him come out so quickly.

Arkansas 2, South Carolina 1 - Middle 4th Inning

LT Tolbert and Justin Row each singled in the fourth, but Blaine Knight caught Hunter Taylor looking at a strike three curveball to strand two Gamecocks. Knight has four strikeouts and has scattered six hits. He has thrown 70 pitches.

Arkansas 2, South Carolina 1 - End 3rd Inning

Eric Cole led off the third with a single and scored on Casey Martin's double and an error by the South Carolina left fielder. Martin was caught trying to advance from second to third on a fly ball later in the inning, killing a potentially bigger rally for Arkansas.

Arkansas 1, South Carolina 1 - End 2nd Inning

Luke Bonfield singled, advanced to third on Dominic Fletcher's single and scored on Grant Koch's sacrifice fly. The Razorbacks eventually loaded the bases against Logan Chapman, but the inning ended when Jax Biggers popped up to the shortstop.

South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning when Justin Row singled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Hunter Taylor.

Arkansas 0, South Carolina 0 - End 1st Inning

Casey Martin put a two-out charge into a fastball, but it died at the warning track. The Razorbacks went hitless in the first inning.

Arkansas 0, South Carolina 0 - Middle 1st Inning

South Carolina made Blaine Knight work in the first inning. Knight needed 25 pitches to face four Gamecocks. Madison Stokes singled with one out, but South Carolina flied out twice to end the inning.

Both fly balls were hit to Heston Kjerstad in left field, and both were adventurous because of this strong wind.

Pregame

It is a beautiful night in Fayetteville. The temperature is in the upper 70s as we get set for first pitch. It is windy, though, and the wind will gust to 40 mph tonight. It is blowing straight out of the southwest, which will knock down balls hit to right field and aid some hit to left.

Blaine Knight puts his undefeated record on the line tonight. South Carolina will throw Logan Chapman, a freshman right-hander starting his first SEC game.

Ray Gregson is tonight's home plate umpire. Longtime SEC umpire Tony Walsh is at first base.

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