FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A solid outing from Hagen Smith on the mound and a three-RBI day at the plate from Kendall Diggs powered No. 6 Arkansas to victory in its series opener against No. 3 South Carolina.
The Razorbacks defeated the Gamecocks 4-1 Friday at Baum-Walker Stadium, marking the seventh consecutive SEC victory for Arkansas.
Smith and South Carolina's Eli Jones provided a pitchers' duel early on typical of SEC Friday nights. Both pitchers went at least five innings, but Smith had the slightly better day, going 5.2 innings of one-run ball while striking out seven Gamecock batters.
Diggs picked up the first of his three RBI in the third inning, hitting a single to right field that scored Peyton Holt to open the scoring.
Smith allowed his only run of the day in the top of the sixth inning when Breylen Wimmer's RBI single to center scored Michael Braswell to tie the game up.
Arkansas retook the lead in the bottom of the frame though. With runners on the corners, Caleb Cali grounded into a double play, but Jace Bohrofen scored from third to put the Hogs back in front.
Diggs then added the insurance runs in the seventh. Walks to Parker Rowland and Tavian Josenberger, who made his return from injury, sandwiched around a John Bolton single loaded the bases for Arkansas. Diggs stepped up and ripped the 1-0 pitch to right field, scoring Rowland and Bolton to give Arkansas the 4-1 advantage.
Freshman pitcher Gage Wood came on in relief of Smith in the bottom of the fifth and forced an inning-ending double play.
Wood went to shut down the Gamecock lineup, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings and collecting his second win of the season in the process.
Arkansas will look to clinch the series Saturday, with first pitch at Baum-Walker set for 6 p.m. on SEC Network+.