Hogs Hosting Champs
No. 18 Arkansas will be at home this weekend, hosting No. 5 South Carolina in a high-stakes three-game series at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks (33-13, 11-10 Southeastern Conference) enter the series on a four-game winning streak.
The Hogs won a series at No. 2 Florida last weekend and swept a midweek series against future SEC opponent Missouri. Arkansas beat the Tigers 6-3 Tuesday and 2-0 Wednesday.
The Gamecocks (33-11, 14-7 SEC) swept Alabama last weekend in a three-game series, their fifth consecutive weekend series win.
“If you just look at their stats, they’re pretty solid,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “They beat you in a lot of ways. They beat you with some solid defense, but they beat you with some really good pitching, and it seems like lately their offense has picked it up.”
South Carolina will start All-American left-hander Michael Roth (4-0, 2.57 ERA) on Friday, freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery (4-0, 3.47) on Saturday and junior right-hander Patrick Sullivan (0-0, 3.15) on Sunday.
“If I remember right, we roughed (Roth) up pretty good when we played them last year, but he’s a phenomenal pitcher,” Reynolds said. “He’s an All-American for a reason and he’s their Friday night guy for a reason. It’s going to be a battle.”
The Gamecocks are tied for first in the SEC with four players hitting better than .300.
Arkansas will use sophomore right-hander Ryne Stanek (6-3, 2.52) Friday, junior left-hander Randall Fant (2-2, 4.05) Saturday and junior right-hander DJ Baxendale (6-2, 3.47) Sunday.
The series will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in a game aired on ESPNU. First pitch Saturday will be at noon and on ESPN 2. The series finale will be at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
“It’s a huge series,” Reynolds said. “I think we’re feeling confident as a team. I have full confidence in our pitching staff to get the job done, and I think the pitching staff is starting to see the hitters are coming along. It’s a big series for us. We’re definitely going to go after them and give them our best shot.”