|Updated: 6/21/2012 11:21 pm
||Published: 6/21/2012 11:19 pm
OMAHA, Neb. – The University of Arkansas baseball team was shut out, 2-0, by the South Carolina Gamecocks in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday night. The Arkansas loss forces an elimination game against South Carolina on Friday which is scheduled for 8 p.m. central.
The Razorbacks (46-21) managed just three hits against the Gamecocks (48-18) on Thursday as the Arkansas bats couldn’t get things going. The winner of Friday’s game advances to a best of three national championship series against Arizona who defeated Florida State on Thursday.
South Carolina struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Erik Payne led off the inning with a double down the left field line and Tanner English followed with a double of his own, scoring Payne from second base. A ground out to third on a great diving play by Matt Reynolds advanced English to third and he scored on a RBI single to center field by Chase Vergason.
Arkansas tried to put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth, but came up empty. With two out, Bo Bigham was hit by a pitch and Derrick Bleeker followed with a single to left. Bigham attempted to advance to third on Bleeker’s single down the line, but English was able to throw him out to end the inning.
The Gamecocks had a chance to extend the lead in the top of the sixth. With one out, LB Dantzler reached on a fielding error by Dominic Ficociello and then took second on a passed ball. A single to center field by Adam Matthews put runners on first and third with one out. Payne then hit a chopper in front of the plate, which was fielded by Moore, who threw home to retire Dantzler for the second out of the inning. Arkansas got out of the inning after English lined out to short.
The Razorback bullpen was again outstanding when called upon. The Hogs have now pitched 23.2 consecutive scoreless innings with their relievers and over three games of the College World Series the entire staff has allowed just four runs. On Thursday night, Brandon Moore, Trent Daniel and Nolan Sanburn combined to throw 7.2 innings of shutout baseball with just three hits.