FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sophomore left fielder Clint Arnold made up for several early mistakes with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to propel No. 12 Arkansas to a 10-6 win over No. 19 Kentucky on Saturday afternoon in front of 8,166 fans at Baum Stadium.
The home run was the first of Arnold’s career and came in his 275th at bat as a Razorback. Shortstop Matt Willard had singled home a run prior to Arnold’s blast to left field in the four-run fifth inning that put Arkansas on top 8-1.
Trey Holloway pitched a career-best 7.1 innings to improve to 4-0 on the season. He surrendered five runs – four earned – on five hits while striking out a batter and not issuing a walk.
The win was the fourth straight in SEC play for Arkansas (27-9, 8-6 SEC) and moved them within one game of SEC West-leading Alabama. The Razorbacks are 11-6 this season against top-25 competition. Kentucky drops to 25-10 on the year and 7-7 in league action.
Craig Snipp took the loss to fall 4-3. He worked five innings and allowed eight runs on 11 hits, while walking two and striking out a batter on 92 pitches.
Kentucky got three runs back in the top of the sixth inning as Ryan Strieby connected for a three-run home run down the left-field line to cut the UA lead to 8-4.
Brian Walker drove home the Hogs’ ninth run of the game in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly to center field. Kentucky followed by plating two runs in the eighth inning with RBI singles from Sean Coughlin and Strieby to pull within 9-6. The first run was charged to Holloway while the second run went to reliever Chris Rhoads. He allowed one run on one hit and did not record an out before being replaced by Devin Collis.
Collis pitched the final 1.2 innings to record his sixth save of the season. He allowed just one hit and struck out one while facing five batters.
The Razorbacks came right back in the bottom half of the eighth inning and scored a run on an infield single by Willard to give UA a 10-6 lead. The high-chopper over the head of the pitcher scored a hustling pinch-runner Stephen Robison from second base.
Chris Hollensworth ripped his SEC-best 16th double of the season down the left-field line to score Craig Gentry in the top of the first inning. A fielding error by UK left fielder Shaun Lehmann on the play also allowed Wayne Horzek to also score and give the Hogs a 2-0 lead.
It was the first time in eight games the Razorbacks have scored first in a game. Arkansas is now 17-2 this season when scoring first in a game.
Hrozek and Danny Hamblin came through with two-out RBI singles in the second inning to extend the Arkansas lead to 4-0. It was Hamblin’s SEC-best 47th RBI of the season.
Kentucky collected its first hit of the game in the top of the fourth inning on a short fly ball to left field by Collin Cowgill. UA left fielder Clint Arnold misread the ball off the bat and broke back to the fence allowing the ball to fall in for a hit.
The Wildcats put a run on the scoreboard with second hit of the ball game in the fifth inning. John Shelby connected for his ninth home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch that he deposited in the Hogpen in left field.
Arkansas will be looking for the sweep on Sunday at 12:35 p.m. at Baum Stadium.