FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas overcame four Kentucky home runs and a six-run deficit after four innings for a 12-10 win over the Wildcats on Saturday in the second game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
The win was the first by the Razorbacks (18-28, 3-18 SEC) in conference play since March 11 and snapped their school-record losing streak in league games at 18. The victory was the first by UA in 11 home SEC games this season.
The loss was the fifth in seven games for UK (31-14-1, 8-13-1 SEC), which trails Mississippi for the eighth and final berth in the SEC Tournament scheduled for May 17-21 in Hoover, Ala.
Arkansas reliever Josh Merryman (1-1) worked a career-high 4 2/3 innings in relief to earn his first collegiate victory. Merryman gave up three runs (earned) on five hits and struck out one.
UK reliever Mark Michael (4-2) suffered the loss after giving up three runs (earned) on three hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.
Arkansas’ Jack Welsh and Scott Crossett tied their career highs in hits with four each. Greg Blum added three hits and tied a career high with four RBI, two on a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning that gave the Hogs a 9-7 lead they would not relinquish.
UA led 12-8 after eight innings, but Aaron McGlone’s two-run single in the top of the ninth cut the lead to 12-10 and brought Gary Hogan Jr. out of the Arkansas bullpen. Vince Harrison greeted Hogan with a single that put the tying run on first base, but Hogan retired the next two batters to end the game and earn his fourth save of the season.
The Hogs appeared headed for their 19th-consecutive SEC loss when UK roughed up UA starter Brad Bohannan for six runs in the first three innings. John Wilson hit a solo homer in the first; Robert Newton and Harrison added two-run blasts in the second and third innings, respectively. Wilson’s homer was the 17th of the season. Newton’s home run was his sixth on the year while Harrison’s round-tripper was his fifth of the season.
Wilson and Harrison led the Wildcats with three hits each.
UK starter Rob Corrado held Arkansas to two runs on eight hits through five innings but loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. Scott Crossett cleared the bases with a single that Beau Moore misplayed in center field, allowing Crossett to go to third base and bringing Michael out of the Wildcat bullpen. Blum followed with a double down the left-field line that scored Crossett to cut the Kentucky lead to 7-6 after six innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, Welsh’s bunt single scored Jeff Fletcher to tie the game at 7-7 before Blum put the Hogs ahead with his two-run single.
UK’s Breck Price cut the UA lead to 9-8 in the top of the eighth with a solo home run, his third homer of the season.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.