LEXINGTON, Ky. – Brett Hagedorn’s two-out, two-run single broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the 13th inning as Arkansas defeated Kentucky, 9-5, in 13 innings Sunday in the final game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The win gave the Razorbacks (23-26, 8-16 SEC) their third-consecutive regular season series victory over the Wildcats (19-29, 6-18 SEC), third SEC series win of the year and first on the road. Kentucky won game one of the series, 5-4, in 10 innings on Friday; Arkansas won game two on Saturday, 16-11.
Scott Roehl (3-4) earned the win for the Razorbacks with 2 2/3 innings of relief. Jared Manatt recorded the final two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning for his second save of the season. Kentucky reliever Joseph Blanton took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Arkansas’ Brian Kirby hit his eighth and ninth home runs of the year. Kirby, who also homered in Saturday’s win, ranks third on the Hogs’ career home run list with 39. Kirby’s solo home run gave UA a 1-0 lead in the first inning. His two-run shot in the sixth inning gave UA a 3-2 lead.
Jeff Hoefler led the Razorbacks with three hits; Beau Moore had five hits for Kentucky in a losing effort.
The Razorbacks were one out away from winning the game in nine innings and two outs away from winning it in 12. Trailing 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Kentucky’s Spencer Preston hit a two-run home run off UA reliever Josh Merryman to tie the game 4-4 and force extra innings. The Razorbacks scored on an error to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the 12th before UK tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch by UA reliever Scott Roehl.
Spencer’s late heroics spoiled a solid effort by UA’s Jon Richmond in his first career SEC start. Richmond held the Wildcats to two runs on five hits, struck out five and walked none in a career-high eight innings pitched. Kentucky starter Rob Corrado matched a career high with seven strikeouts and yielded four runs on five hits in seven innings of work.
The 13 innings were the most played the Razorbacks since a 5-4, 14-inning loss at Wichita State during the 1999 season.
Arkansas returns to Baum Stadium Tuesday to conclude its non-conference schedule with a 6:30 p.m. CT game against Oral Roberts.