LEXINGTON, Ky. – Nothing seemed to go right for No. 9 Arkansas on Saturday as Kentucky evened the series with a 7-5 win at Cliff Hagan Stadium as the Razorbacks committed five errors and left a season-high 17 runners on base.
The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for the Hogs (15-6) and evens their conference record at 1-1. The Wildcats improve to 20-1 on the season and 1-1 in SEC action.
The four-hour and 15-minute marathon saw the Razorbacks commit a season-high five errors and leave a season-high 17 runners on base.
UA managed just six hits and just one – a ninth inning single by Matt Willard – after Jeff Nutt’s two-run home run in the fifth inning.
Scott Green improved to 2-0 out of the Kentucky bullpen, working two innings and allowing one run on one hit while walking five. Jess Todd took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season. He pitched three innings and allowed six runs – four earned – on eight hits while striking out four and walking three.
Aaron Lovett earned the save with 1.2 innings out of the bullpen. He allowed just one run on won hit while striking out two.
Jason Kipnis, Ryan Wilkes, Tyler Howe and Sawyer Carroll paced the Cats’ 11-hit attack with two hits and a RBI apiece. No Razorback batter collected more than one hit while striking out 12 times and drawing 13 walks.
Wayne Hrozek staked the Razorbacks to an early 1-0 lead with a two-out single into right-center field in the first inning.
It didn’t take Kentucky long to answer with a little shaky defense from the Razorbacks as the Wildcats scored three runs. Carroll and Wilkes highlighted the inning with RBI singles to right field.
UK starting pitcher Andrew Albers day was cut short in the bottom of the second inning when he was forced to leave the game with a blister.
Todd got the first two hitters of the second inning swinging before Kipnis connected for a solo home run on a first-pitch fastball to get the Cats a 4-1 lead. UK plated its fifth run in the second inning as well on a throwing error by catcher Jeff Nutt.
Jake Dugger misplayed a knuckling line drive to center field that led to the Wildcats sixth run in the third inning when Howe followed with a RBI single to right field.
Casey Coon ripped a RBI single up the middle in the top of the fourth inning to close the UK lead to 6-2. Jeff Nutt pulled the Hogs within two runs in the fifth inning with a two-run home run to right-center field.
The Wildcats added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning when reliever Travis Hill issued a bases-loaded walk to Antone DeJesus. Hill then got Howe to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Arkansas threatened in the ninth but only managed one run on a balk by Lovett.
The rubber game of the series is slated for a noon first pitch on Sunday.