COLUMIBA, S.C. -- Sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt struck out a career-high 11 batters in seven-plus innings of work and was backed by an offense that belted out 16 hits as 12th-ranked South Carolina defeated Arkansas 10-6 in the SEC opener on Friday night at Founders Park. The Gamecocks are 18-2 on the year, while the Razorbacks fall to 15-4.
Schmidt improved to 5-0 on the season. Arkansas right-hander Dominic Taccolini suffered the loss after allowing eight runs on twelve hits with one walk and two strikeouts in six innings. He is 3-1 on the year.
The Gamecocks stormed ahead 5-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Gene Cone, LT Tolbert and John Jones all singled to load the bases for Alex Destino, who drove in two runs on a single to center field. With the bases loaded for a second time, Chris Cullen delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to score Jones. DC Arendas followed up with a two-out two-run double to right field.
South Carolina added three runs in the bottom of the second inning. With Destino on second and Jones on first, Dom Thompson-Williams cleared the bases with a triple to right field. Cullen drove in Thompson-Williams with a two-out double to left field to give the Gamecocks an eight run cushion.
Arkansas would get a run back in the third inning with a solo home run by Tucker Pennell. It snapped a 26-inning scoreless streak for Schmidt. The Razorbacks added a second run in the top of the sixth with a double by Rick Nomura and a single up the middle by Carson Shaddy to score Nomura.
Arendas added another run for the Gamecocks in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run to left field to give South Carolina a seven-run lead. Arkansas picked up four runs in the top of the eighth when Shaddy singled up the middle to score Darien Simms and Clark Eagan, and Luke Bonfield knocked a two- run homer to left field. The Gamecocks added their final run in the bottom of the eighth as Jones drove in Cone with a single to center field.