No. 1 Arkansas bounced back to take Game 3 of the series against South Carolina with a 5-1 win on Friday night.
The victory featured some outstanding pitching by Patrick Wicklander and a key home run by Cayden Wallace. Wicklander started and worked seven innings. He allowed two hits, one run (earned), five strikeouts, hit two batters, faced 25 hitters, threw 83 pitches with 62 being strikes. Kevin Kopps worked the final two innings.
The Hogs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Casey Opitz and Jacob Nesbit started the inning off with singles. Jalen Battles then singled to plate Opitz. Zack Gregory reached on a fielder’s choice to get Nesbit home. The Gamecocks answered with one run in the bottom of the third on a solo home run by Brady Allen.
In the top of the fifth, Gregory walked and with two outs Wallace hit a shot over the fence in left field for a 4-1 lead.
The Hogs added a run in the top of the seventh with two outs. Battles walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then went to third on a ground out. Then Matt Goodheart reached on an error on the South Carolina shortstop that allowed Battles to score and lead 5-1.
Wicklander (2-1) was the winning pitcher with Kopps getting the final six outs with all of them strikeouts on a perfect two innings by the Hogs relief ace. Kopps struck out all six hitters he faced. He threw 25 pitches with 18 going for strikes.
Arkansas won the opener 6-1 on Thursday then the Gamecocks bounced back to win 6-2 in the first game on Friday. The Razorbacks have now won all 10 series it has played this season. This was the first home series loss for the Gamecocks this season.
Arkansas (32-7, 13-5) will return to action on Friday night in Baton Rouge against LSU at 6 p.m.