Fayetteville, Ark. – Brett Hagedorn was hit-by-a-pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to force in the game-winning run as No. 19 Arkansas claimed a 5-4 win over the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday night at Baum Stadium.Arkansas improved to 28-13 overall and 12-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky dropped to 19-16 overall and 5-12 in league play.
The win gave the Razorbacks the series victory, marking the fifth-straight series win for the Hogs which tied the team record with the 1999 squad.
Jay Sawatski (5-2) earned the win in relief of starter Charley Boyce. Sawatski pitched three innings allowing just one hit with one walk and five strikeouts.
Boyce lasted six innings and gave up four runs, all earned, on seven hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Matt Scott (5-3) took the loss for Kentucky after giving up one run, earned, on two hits in one and two-thirds innings of work. Seth Stanley started for Kentucky and allowed four runs, all earned, on 12 hits with one walk and no strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings.
The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Three singles loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. Casey Gilven made it a 4-0 game with a grand slam home run that cleared the wall in left field.
The Razorbacks cut into the Kentucky lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jake Dugger singled and moved to second when Danny Hamblin walked. A fly out to center moved Dugger to third and Scott Hode’s single up the middle brought him home to make it a 4-1 game.
Dugger again got things going for the Razorbacks when he double to right to open the bottom of the third inning. Hamblin followed with a single to left to move Dugger to third.
Goodwin plated Dugger with a sacrifice fly to right to make it a 4-2 game with one out in the third. The Wildcats were able to work out of the jam, however, to maintain a two run lead after three innings of play.
For the third time in the game the Razorbacks got the leadoff man aboard and for the third time they scored. Scott Bridges doubled down the right field line to open the bottom of the sixth and scored on a single through the right side by Brady Toops to make it a 4-3 game.
Devin Day then singled up the middle to move Toops to third with one out. Kentucky was able to work out of the jam as Dugger flied out and Hamblin hit into fielder’s choice to end the inning with Toops stranded at third.
Boyce was pulled for Sawatski in the seventh after giving up a walk and single. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out. Sawatski got Caleb Stewart to strike out swinging for the second out of the inning.
Sawatski then fanned Gilvin to end the inning without the ‘Cats getting a run across the plate.
The Razorbacks tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out home run by Haas Pratt. It came on a 3-2 pitch and sailed over the wall in left-center for his fifth home run of the season.
A leadoff single and sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position with just one out for the Wildcats in the top of the ninth inning.
Sawatski was able to work out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly out to left to end the inning with the game tied 4-4.
With one out in the ninth, Goodwin walked to put the winning run on base for the Hogs. Hode then doubled to right to put runners at second and third with one out.
Pratt was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up the double play. Hagedorn was then put in to pinch-hit for Bridges. On a 0-1 pitch, Hagedorn was hit in the lower leg to force the game winning run home.
Arkansas and Kentucky conclude their series Sunday with an 11:35 a.m. game. Daryl Maday (3-0) will take the mound for the Razorbacks as the Hogs look for the series sweep.