The Arkansas players promised in their post-game press conference Thursday that they’d be bringing more enthusiasm and energy to the ballpark in Friday’s elimination game.
That was missing during that 2-0 loss to South Carolina Thursday. Outfielder Matt Vinson said the Razorbacks played a little “flat,” and they knew that couldn’t happen again.
So far, so good.
Arkansas is holding a 2-0 lead after four innings now, already into South Carolina’s bullpen (starter Colby Holmes lasted two innings) and seizing the momentum just like in their first meeting with the Gamecocks Monday night.
SC hasn’t been as sharp as usual — a first-inning scoring chance ended with a double play; Evan Marzilli couldn’t make a sliding catch in center field leading to a run in the third; the Razorbacks have already stolen two bases.
Still a long way to go, yes. But this Arkansas team looks more loose, more poised and more aggressive early on. It’ll be up to South Carolina to respond.