RISP problems strike again, Arkansas drops game one of doubleheader 6-3

Apr 14, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama infielderJustin Lebron (1) takes a throw at second to
Apr 14, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama infielderJustin Lebron (1) takes a throw at second to / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

Arkansas has elite fielding and pitching, but its hitting is struggling.

The Gamecocks take the first of two games today, winning 6-3 after stranding three Arkansas runners in the top of the ninth.

The Razorbacks didn't have a horrible day at the plate, recording 12 hits to South Carolina's 9. Unfortunately, hits don't matter if runs aren't being scored. Arkansas left 13 baserunners stranded, including the aforementioned bases-loaded situation in the ninth. What's worse is that the Hogs had 12 runners in scoring position but only capitalized on it once. The other two runs came on a fielder's choice and a home run.

The problem isn't hitting; it's hitting when it matters. Peyton Stovall, Peyton Holt, and Ross Lovich all had great games at the plate with multiple hits. Not a single one drove in a baserunner. Only Will Edmunsum and Kendall Diggs brought one home, and neither recorded a hit on the at-bat.

Pitching — in comparison to this season — was awful. Mason Molina only made it through 3 1/3 innings before being pulled after giving up a couple of walks in the fourth. Parker Coil pushed Arkansas through the rest of the fourth and the fifth but crumbled in the sixth. As a team, Arkansas finished with nine hits, six earned runs, eight walks, and eight strikeouts.

Arkansas' starting pitching rotation is undoubtedly the best in the country. That doesn't mean they won't have a bad day. Relying on pitching to win games will get harder, especially during postseason play. But there's one thing the diamond hogs can count on. When Hagen Smith is on the mound, Arkansas has a very good chance of winning, regardless of the performance at the plate.

The Razorbacks will take on South Carolina again at 5:00 pm today due to tomorrow's weather forecast. You can catch the game on SEC Network+.