LEXINGTON, Ky. – Danny Hamblin connected for two home runs as No. 9 Arkansas captured the rubber game of the first Southeastern Conference series of the season on Sunday with a 14-5 win a Cliff Hagan Stadium.
It was the third multiple-home run game of Hamblin’s career and his fourth home run of the season. He tied Brian Kirby for third place on Arkansas career home run chart with 39. Hamblin drove in four run on the day and five in the series to move into fifth in career RBI with 177.
Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks improve to 16-6 on the season and 2-1 in SEC play, while Kentucky falls to 20-2 on the season and 1-2 in league action.
Duke Welker turned in his second outstanding start of the week to improve to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 this week. He worked six innings on Sunday, allowing just two runs – one earned – on four hits and a career-high nine strikeouts.
Welker also pitched six innings in a win over ORU on Tuesday night. He allowed just two earned runs on seven hits with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings of work this week.
UK starter Greg Dombrowski (3-1) turned in an uncharacteristic outing, giving up six runs – five earned – on six hits in just four innings of work. He also issued just his third walk of the season in 27.1 innings. In all Kentucky used seven pitchers on the day that issued four walks and struck out just three.
Arkansas blew the game wide open in the top of the sixth inning, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six runs. It was the 10th inning of 10 or more runs in an inning as the Razorbacks took an 11-2 lead. The inning was highlighted by a two-RBI double off the bat of Casey Coon and a RBI single by Logan Forsythe.
Forsythe finished 2 for 5 on the afternoon with a RBI and three runs scored. He has hit in six straight games and 16 of his last 17. Jeff Nutt and Brad Secrist also chipped in with two hits each against the Cats.
Hamblin connected for his third home run of the season in the top of the second inning to stake the Hogs to an early 2-0 lead. Secrist reached in the previous at bat with an infield single to second base.
Brian Walker matched Hamblin in the fourth inning with a monstrous 450-foot two-run home run into the parking lot in right-center field to give the Razorbacks a 4-0 lead.
Welker allowed his first hit of the game to Jason Kipnis to leadoff the fourth inning. After a balk and a ground ball moved Kipnis to third base, Brian Spear’s infield single plated the Cats’ first run. UA second baseman Ben Tschepikow ranged up the middle to field the ball, but the throw was not in time. Hamblin drove in Arkansas’ fifth run of the game with a RBI groundout in the fifth inning.
Kentucky scored an unearned run in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-2, but Welker fanned Billy Grace with the bases loaded to end the threat.
Antone DeJesus delivered a two-RBI single in the eighth to cut the UA lead to 12-4. The Hogs then added two more runs without the benefit of a base hit in the eighth to extend the lead to 14-4. Kentucky got a leadoff single from Kipnis in the ninth and then took second and third base uncontested and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sean Coughlin.
The Razorbacks travel to Shreveport, La., on Wednesday for a2 p.m. contest with Centenary before hosting No. 1 Vanderbilt on Friday, March 23, at 6:35 p.m., when Nick Schmidt faces off with No. 1 Vanderbilt and All-America left-handed pitcher David Price.
Download: AR22 – 3.18.07.pdf