Diggs and Wood Power 3 Arkansas earn the opener win

Diggs and Wood Power #3 Arkansas earn the opener win over #6 South Carolina – Razorbacks Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kendall Diggs’ three RBI and Gage Wood’s 3 1/3 innings scoreless gave No. 3 Arkansas (37-12, 18-7 SEC) a 4-1 opening win over No. 6 South Carolina (36-13, 14-10 SEC) on Friday night at Baum Walker Stadium.

The win saw the Hogs improve to 29-3 at home this season. It equals their best record at Baum-Walker Stadium since 2018, when Arkansas also started with a 29-3 start before finishing with a program record of 34-4 at home.

Diggs set the first run of the game late in the third period with his two-out RBI single, giving the Razorbacks and starter Hagen Smith an early 1-0 lead. Smith worked his way up to the sixth and was retired after 5 2/3 innings and seven strikeouts.

The Gamecocks outplayed Smith in the top half of the sixth round. South Carolina capitalized on a two-out RBI single to center, equalizing ballplay with one apiece and knocking out the Razorbacks’ left-handed ace.

Wood replaced Smith and picked up two runners with two outs. However, the true newcomer was up to the challenge and was eliminated in the first half of the sixth leg to hold the score in a 1-1 draw.

The Razorback offense didn’t let Wood’s efforts go to waste, responding with the starting shot in the bottom half of the inning. Arkansas made two more runs in the seventh, thanks to Diggs’ bases individually loaded to the right.

Diggs finished the game with two hits as the team leader and three team-high RBIs, his performance pushing his season slash mark to .333/.468/.615. He was one of seven Razorbacks to concede a base knock in the series’ inaugural win Friday night.

With a 4-1 lead early in the eighth, Wood went through the last two innings with ease. In his 3 1/3 innings scoreless in relief, he conceded just two hits and smashed four of them to secure the win and increase the season’s lead to 2-0.

Arkansas, now the sole SEC leader with five games to go, is aiming for its seventh SEC series win of the season tomorrow. The first pitch between the Hogs and Gamecocks will take place on Saturday, May 13 at 6 p.m. on SEC Network+.

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