Omaha, NE – Arkansas ended South Carolina's 22-game postseason winning streak on Monday, but the Razorbacks may have to beat the Gamecocks again if they want to finish off the two-time reigning College World Series champions.
The tandem of Ryne Stanek and Barrett Astin limited the Gamecocks to a mere four hits, while Dominic Ficociello and Matt Vinson picked up an RBI apiece as Arkansas downed its fellow SEC member South Carolina, 2-1, in the College World Series.
Stanek picked up the win after surrendering a run on three hits and three walks in six innings for Arkansas, which is 2-0 in the College World Series for the first time since 1979. Astin allowed just a hit over the final three frames to seal the win.
Arkansas will play the winner of Wednesday's elimination game between South Carolina and Kent State.
Evan Marzili smacked two hits, including a run-scoring triple for South Carolina. Starter Colby Holmes was touched for two runs on four hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
The Razorbacks grabbed a 2-0 lead after plating a run in the first and fourth frames.
Tim Carver led off the contest with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and hustled home when Ficociello laced a double into the gap in left-center.
In the fourth, Brian Anderson walked to begin the inning, stole second with two outs and came around to score on Vinson's single to right.
Marzili got the Gamecocks on the board in the fifth with an RBI triple, but they were never able to muster any more offense.
The closest South Carolina got was in the eighth, when LB Dantzler ripped a two-out double, but the runner was stranded there as Adam Matthews grounded out to end the threat.
Despite coming into the College World Series as the top-ranked team, Florida will be the second team to head home, as Kent State defeated the Gators, 5-4, and eliminated them from the tournament.
The Golden Flashes took advantage of some shaky Florida fielding early in the game to take a 5-1 lead after four innings. However, Florida battled back within a run in the seventh, then stranded the bases loaded in the ninth.
Kent State grabbed a first-inning lead after Jimmy Rider reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Nolan Fontana. Two batters later, George Roberts singled him home for the game's first run.
Florida starting pitcher Hudson Randall appeared affected by the temperature, which hovered around 100 degrees on the field for much of the day. He left the game after the first inning because of what appeared to be dehydration.
Kent State tacked on three unearned runs in the second after Josh Tobias failed to field a sacrifice. With two on and two out, Kent State strung together three straight singles to tack on three runs.
Mike Zunino, the third overall pick of the Major League Baseball Draft, knocked in a run in the third to bring Florida within three runs.
Kent State took advantage of more Florida mistakes in the fourth. After Rider delivered a one-out double, two wild pitches brought him home to open up a 5-1 lead.
After a Justin Shafer double scored another run for Florida, the Gators made it a one-run game with two in the seventh.
The first three batters of the inning reached base before Zunino drove in his second run of the day. However, the Golden Flashes were able to minimize the damage, as the following hitter, Brian Johnson, grounded into a run-producing double play. Daniel Pigott then lined out to end the inning.
Kent State pitcher Michael Clark, who stranded two Florida baserunners in the eighth, was pulled after walking Preston Tucker to start the ninth and falling behind 2-0 to Zunino.
Josh Pierce entered and finished off the walk. After a sacrifice moved the runners, Pierce plunked Pigott to load the bases. Pierce fell behind Casey Turgeon 3-0, but came back to strike him out. Pierce then got Shafer to fly out to right to end the game and give Kent State their first-ever College World Series win.
In total, Florida stranded 12 runners on base en route to the season-ending defeat.
Ryan Bores picked up the win for Kent State, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.
Randall took the loss after giving up an unearned run in his only inning of work.