USC Prepares For Big Arkansas Series


By Sports Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina (18-3, 2-1 SEC) returns to action this weekend hosting a three-game series vs. Arkansas (14-7, 1-2 SEC). First pitch for the opener on Friday is set for 7:30 p.m. with the game being televised live on CSS with live streaming available at ESPN3. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and will be televised live on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Carolinas with live streaming available at ESPN3. Sunday’s series finale is 1:30 p.m. with live video streaming at on the All Access Channel. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”

South Carolina and Arkansas met six times on the diamond last year with the Gamecocks winning two of three games at Arkansas as well as two of three games at the College World Series in Omaha to advance to the National Championship Series.

South Carolina - Evan Beal (So. RHP) 2-0, 0.56 ERA, 16.0 IP, 3 BB, 21 SO
Arkansas – Barrett Astin (Jr. RHP) 1-1, 1.90 ERA, 23.2 IP, 4 BB, 13 SO

South Carolina - Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 4-1, 1.25 ERA, 36.0 IP, 1 BB, 36 SO
Arkansas – Ryne Stanek (Jr. RHP) 0-1, 3.24 ERA, 16.2 IP, 6 BB, 10 SO

South Carolina – TBA
Arkansas – Randall Fant (Sr. LHP) 1-0, 1.12 ERA, 16.0 IP, 0 BB, 13 SO

South Carolina is ranked for the sixth straight week. The Gamecocks remain No. 5 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and No. 6 in this week’s USA Today coaches’ poll. Arkansas is ranked as No. 17 in the USA Today coaches’ poll as well as No. 21 by Baseball America and No. 28 by Collegiate Baseball.

South Carolina belted three home runs and freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop allowed just two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings to earn his fourth win of the year as the Gamecocks defeated The Citadel 9-5 at Riley Park in front of 5,838 fans on Tuesday evening.

Grayson Greiner tallied a two-run homer in the third inning, LB Dantzler added a solo shot in the fourth inning and Joey Pankake hit a two-run homer in the ninth to help lead the Gamecocks to a win. Both Greiner and Pankake drove in three runs as well.

Wynkoop is now 4-0 on the year. He struck out five batters and walked just one. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb pitched two perfect innings of relief with two strikeouts to pick up his eighth save of the season. The Citadel starting pitcher Logan Cribb suffered the loss and is 1-2 for the season. He lasted only 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Senior left-handed pitcher Nolan Belcher has pitched 26.1 consecutive scoreless innings on the mound for the Gamecocks. Belcher worked 8.1 scoreless innings in the 2-0 victory vs. Missouri on Saturday afternoon. He did not allow a runner to reach second base in the entire contest. Belcher limited the Tigers to just five hits and struck out six batters while walking none. He has not allowed a walk since the Liberty game on opening weekend, a span of 31.1 innings. For the season, Belcher is 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA in 36.0 innings pitched. He has 36 strikeouts to just one walk on the year. Opponents are hitting .206 against him.

Belcher pitched the first complete game shutout of his career in the 8-0 victory vs. Clemson. Belcher allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out seven batters in the win. Only one base runner reached third base the entire game for the Tigers. It is the first complete game shutout by a Gamecock pitcher since Sam Dyson on May 15, 2010 in a 5-0 win at Arkansas. Belcher’s complete game shutout was also the first by a Gamecock pitcher in the Clemson series since May 4, 1986 when Rodney Richey hurled a four-hit complete game shutout in a 5-0 victory vs. the Tigers at Sarge Frye Field.
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