2012 College World Series: Razorbacks Stop History Making Gamecocks


Omaha, Neb. – The Arkansas Razorbacks were able to turn their season long game plan of timely hitting, strong defense, and excellent pitching into another 2012 College World Series win on Monday when they defeated South Carolina 2-1.

The Arkansas Razorbacks (46-20) put a run on the board in the first and fourth inning giving the Hogs’ pitching staff all the run support they would need to halt South Carolina’s (46-18) history making NCAA Tournament win streak at 22-games including 12-straight College World Series wins.

Razorback shortstop and leadoff hitter Tim Carver set the tables for an early Arkansas run with a leadoff single to right off Gamecocks’ starter Colby Holmes. Designated hitter Jacob Mahan laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Carver to second followed by a groundout by third baseman Matt Reynolds to second allowing Carver to move to third.

All the Hogs needed was a hit to score the go-ahead run and first baseman Dominic Ficociello delivered. Ficociello roped an RBI double to the gap easily scoring the first run of the game for Arkansas.

The scratch run allowed Ryne Stanek (8-4, 2.82 ERA) enough breathing room on the mound to settle in on the No. 2 team in the nation.

Stanek worked six innings limiting USC to three hits with one earned run while striking out three for the win.

In the fourth inning Arkansas was able to get the fourth consecutive leadoff hitter in a row on and for the second time in the game they were able to capitalize on their efforts.

Arkansas right fielder Brian Anderson walked setting up a controversial play at the plate with second baseman Bo Bigham.

Bigham was trying to execute a hit and run with Anderson. Bigham swung on a pitch, missed and ducked down in front of the plate. South Carolina catcher Dante Rosenberg tried to throw out Anderson and second and fell into Bigham. The home plate umpire called Bigham out for batter’s interference.

The replay showed Bigham’s momentum on the swing and placement in front of the plate was natural. Rosenberg’s momentum falling into Bigham was a text book NBA flop.

With Arkansas centerfielder Matt Vinson up, Anderson stole second and was driven home on a Vinson RBI single to right. Vinson’s RBI single extended Arkansas’ lead to 2-0.

In the fifth inning Stanek allowed his first leadoff hitter of the game to reach on a walk to Chase Vergason. After a sacrifice bunt by Rosenberg moved Vergason to second, Stanek was able to get the second out of the inning on a ground out by Joey Pankake.

South Carolina centerfielder Evan Marzilla hit a RBI triple to left scoring the only Gamecock run of the game.

Marzilla had two of the four USC hits on Monday night.

Barret Astin came in to relieve Stanek in the seventh throwing three shutout innings to pick up 11th save of the year and lowered his ERA from 2.15 to 2.04. Astin allowed one hit, struck out one, and walked none.

The Razorbacks scatter six hits off USC pitching and was able to once again get the majority of their production from the bottom half of the order. Bo Bigham was 2-4, Joe Serrano was 1-4, and Matt Vinson was 1-3 with the game winning hit.

Matt Reynolds was quite for his second consecutive College World Series game going 0-4. Reynolds was able to make a difference by twice moving runners over from second by hitting behind the runners; an important part of the game that does not show up in the box score.

USC received 5.1 innings of relief work from Tyler Webb. Webb did not allow a run and only allowed two Arkansas hits.

Gamecocks’ starting pitcher Colby Holmes took the loss after allowing two earned runs in 3.2 innings on four hits.

Arkansas’ win marks the first time since their runner-up finish in 1979 that they have won their first two College World Series games.

The Hogs will play the winner of the Kent State vs. USC game on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.

The Golden Flashes and Gamecocks game is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. CT on ESPN.