Stanek goes the distance as Arkansas captures series win vs. South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Arkansas junior right-hander Ryne Stanek tossed the second complete game of his collegiate career, allowing two unearned runs and striking out seven, as the 16th-ranked Razorbacks defeated No. 6 South Carolina 4-2 on Saturday at Carolina Stadium.
The win clinches the series for the Razorbacks. It’s Arkansas’ first series victory at South Carolina since taking two of three in 2009. Arkansas moved to 16-7 on the season, 3-2 in Southeastern Conference play, while South Carolina fell to 18-5, 2-3 in league play.
Stanek turned in the best start of his junior season against the Gamecocks. Stanek also went the distance on June 5, 2011, in the Razorbacks’ 11-3 win against Charlotte in the NCAA Tempe Regional.
In Saturday's contest, Stanek gave up three hits to earn his second win of the season. Only one of South Carolina’s three hits left the infield with the other two being infield singles. Stanek struck out a season-high seven batters and issued just one walk. He retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced, including the final six batters South Carolina sent to the plate.
South Carolina starter Nolan Belcher (4-2) took the loss. Belcher gave up four runs, two earned, on nine hits and struck out six in 7.1 innings.
Arkansas recorded 10 hits in the victory, the fourth consecutive game of 10 or more hits for the Razorbacks. Brian Anderson, Dominic Ficociello and Jacob Mahan had two hits to lead the Razorbacks. Jacob Morris, Matt Vinson and Tyler Spoon each had a hit and an RBI in the victory. Vinson’s hit and RBI came on his first home run of the season.
Connor Bright, Shon Carson and Tanner English each had one hit for the Gamecocks. George Iskenderian and Chase Vergason each had an RBI in the loss.
South Carolina struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the fifth. After Grayson Greiner reached on a two-base throwing error by Anderson to start the inning, the Gamecocks played small ball, using a sacrifice bunt from Bright and a sacrifice fly from Vergason to plate the game’s first run.
The lead was short lived as Arkansas responded with a run in the top of the sixth. Mahan led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joe Serrano. Spoon came through with an RBI single to left, scoring Mahan and tying the game.
Arkansas took its first lead of the game with two runs in the seventh. Morris gave the Razorbacks the lead with a bunt single down the third base line, scoring Ficociello. A throwing error by South Carolina shortstop Joey Pankake allowed the second run to score as Morris crossed home plate on the error.
The Razorbacks stretched the lead to three in the top of the eighth as Vinson hit his first home run of the season, a one-out shot over the wall in left field.
South Carolina got a run back in the bottom of the eighth as Bright scored on an RBI groundout by Iskenderian to cut the Arkansas lead to 4-2.
The Gamecocks were unable to get any closer as Stanek worked a perfect ninth inning to seal the 4-2 victory.