Fayetteville, Ark. – Clint Brannon was the workhorse for the Razorbacks Friday night as he held Kentucky to two hits in six innings as 19th-ranked Arkansas claimed a 9-4 win in the series opener over the Wildcats.Arkansas improved to 27-13 overall and 11-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky fell to 19-17 overall and 5-11 in the SEC.
Brannon (3-1) had a career-high eight strikeouts while holding Kentucky scoreless. Brannon held the Wildcats without a hit until the fourth inning and would allow only one more hit, a single in the fifth, as he won his third game of the season and second consecutive start.
Trey Holloway recorded his first save of the season after pitching the final three innings. Holloway allowed four runs, two earned, on four hits with one walk.
Kalen Gibson (4-2) took the loss for Kentucky after giving up eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits in four and one-third innings of work.
Casey Rowlett gave the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning with an infield single to short that plated Haas Pratt. Pratt doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a single by Scott Bridges.
Brady Toops then drew a walk to load the bases, still with no outs. Devin Day then laced a single to shallow right field to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead. Jake Dugger extended the lead to 3-0 with a bases loaded walk that forced Rowlett home.
Danny Hamblin brought Toops home with a ground ball to short. The ‘Cats forced Dugger out at second on the play for the first out of the inning, but were unable to turn the double play.
Goodwin hit into a double play to end the inning after the Hogs had plated four runs.
Arkansas added to its lead in the fifth. With one out, Bridges walked and stole second and moved to third on a bad throw by the catcher. Rowlett brought Bridges home with a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by Gibson.
After Dugger was hit to load the bases, Hamblin singled to center to score two more runs and push the Arkansas lead to 8-0.
Hamblin scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh for the final Arkansas run of the game.
Kentucky scored its first two runs of the game with two outs in the eighth after an error by Brett Hagedorn at third base extended the Wildcats’ inning.
The Wildcats plated two more runs in the ninth, both coming with two outs, for the final 9-4 margin.
Hamblin finished the game with a pair of hits and three runs batted in for the Razorbacks, while Rowlett and Day each drove in a pair of runs.
Pratt extended his current hitting streak to13 games, one shy of his career best of 14 set earlier this season.
Arkansas and Kentucky continue their series Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Charley Boyce (5-1) will take the mound for the Razorbacks, while Kentucky counters with Seth Stanley (5-1).