OMAHA, Neb. – Arkansas managed just three hits, and South Carolina scored both of its runs in the second inning as the Gamecocks beat the Razorbacks 2-0 on Thursday in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.
Arkansas' Bo Bigham is tagged out by South Carolina's LB Dantzler.
The Arkansas loss forces an elimination game against South Carolina on Friday at 8 p.m. Central.
The winner of Friday’s game advances to a best-of-three national championship series against Arizona, which defeated Florida State on Thursday.
Randall Fant (2-3) took the loss. Fant gave up two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
South Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery (6-1) picked up the win after throwing eight shutout innings and allowing just three hits, while striking out six. Matt Price pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 13th save of the season.
South Carolina scored its runs in the top of the second on Tanner English's RBI double and Chase Vertason's RBI single. Erik Payne led off the inning with a double down the lef-field line and English followed with his run-scoring double. A groundout to third on a diving play by Matt Reynolds advanced English to third, and he scored on Vergason's single to center field.
Arkansas tried to put together a two-out rally in the the fifth. 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 2/3 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 2/3 innings of shutout baseball with just three hits allowed.