LEXINGTON, Ky. – Brian Anderson and Tyler Spoon each hit a two-run homer as No. 14 Arkansas defeated No. 23 Kentucky 5-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The victory clinches the weekend series for the Razorbacks, who improve to 32-15 overall and 15-7 in SEC play. Kentucky is now 26-17 and 9-14 in league play.
Anderson had three hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs to lead Arkansas at the plate. Spoon also had two RBI and scored twice, while going 1-for-4 at the plate. Matt Vinson was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Joe Serrano had a hit and a RBI.
Greg Fettes and A.J. Reed each hit solo homers for Kentucky. Zac Zellers also had a hit and a RBI.
Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek (6-2) earned the win after giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out four in 5.1 innings.
Jalen Beeks and Colby Suggs combined to throw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Beeks retired all eight men he faced in 2.2 innings, while Suggs entered in the ninth and picked up his 10th save, throwing a perfect inning.
Kentucky starter Corey Littrell (5-4) took the loss. Littrell gave up five runs on nine hits and struck out seven in eight innings.
Arkansas struck first with two runs in the top of the first. With one out, Vinson lined a single to center and was along for the ride on Spoon’s two-run homer, an opposite field blast over the wall in right-center field.
Kentucky answered back with a run in the bottom of the first. With one out and runners on first and second, Zellers hit a single into left field, scoring Austin Cousino from second base to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Razorbacks tacked on two runs in the top of the third with a two-out rally. Spoon drew a walk and Anderson followed with a two-run homer over the wall in right field to make the score 4-1.
The Wildcats got a run back in the home half of the fourth on a leadoff solo homer from Fettes, his third of the season.
Kentucky cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fifth as Reed hit a two-out solo homer over the right field fence to trim the lead to 4-3.
Arkansas regained a two-run lead in the top of the seventh. Jake Wise led off the inning with a double down the left field line. A sacrifice bunt by Brett McAfee advanced him to third and a sacrifice fly by Serrano to deep right-center field scored Wise for the Razorbacks’ fifth run of the game.
Game two of the twinbill is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. (CT). Senior southpaw Randall Fant (4-1, 2.34) will start game two of the doubleheader for the Razorbacks, while freshman righty Kyle Cody (3-2, 5.49) will get the start for the Wildcats.