FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — On the mound, Arkansas leads the SEC and ranks third nationally with a 1.81 team ERA. The Razorbacks will start junior right hander Barrett Astin on the mound in Friday’s opener. Astin has pitched in seven games, three as a starter, and has a 1-1 record with a 1.90 ERA. On Saturday, junior righty Ryne Stanek will get the ball. Stanek has a 1-1 record with a 3.32 ERA in five starts on the season. Senior southpaw Randall Fant will start Sunday’s series finale. Fant has started three games and has a 1-0 record with a 1.12 ERA.
Out of the Razorback bullpen, Jalen Beeks has pitched in a team-leading 10 games and has a 2-0 record with one save and a 1.10 ERA. Brandon Moore has pitched seven times, all out of the bullpen, and is 1-2 with a 1.19 ERA. Michael Gunn, Landon Simpson and Tyler Wright have each pitched four times this season and have yet to allow a run.
South Carolina enters the second weekend of conference play with an 18-3 overall record and a 2-1 mark in league play. The Gamecocks opened SEC play last weekend by taking two of three games at Missouri. South Carolina is coming off a 9-5 win at The Citadel on Tuesday night. The Gamecocks enter this weekend’s series having won 11 of their last 12 games. As a team, South Carolina is hitting .286, while the pitching staff has a team ERA of 2.18.
The Gamecocks are led at the plate by LB Dantzler, who has hit a SEC-leading seven home runs and is batting .351 with 24 RBI. Joey Pankake is hitting .343 on the season with five round-trippers and 20 RBI, while Tanner English is batting .324 with three RBI. Graham Saiko has a .305 batting average with 10 RBI and a team-leading seven stolen bases. Chase Vergason is hitting .303 with three homers and 11 RBI.
On the mound, sophomore right hander Evan Beal will start the series opener on Friday. Beal has pitched in four games, two as a starter, and has a 2-0 record with a 0.56 ERA. Senior left hander Nolan Belcher will start Saturday’s game. Belcher has a 4-1 record with a 1.25 ERA in five starts. The Gamecocks have not announced a starter for Sunday’s contest.