Arkansas Splits at Kentucky

Tyler Spoon

Arkansas won the opener, 5-3, behind another save by Colby Suggs, but an error in the ninth helped Kentucky rally with three runs for a 4-3 victory and a split in the SEC baseball doubleheader Saturday at Lexington.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Arkansas was an out away from a three-game sweep of No. 24 Kentucky, but an error by freshman second baseman Jordan Farris helped Kentucky rally for three runs in the ninth inning and a split of the Saturday doubleheader at Cliff Hagen Field.

Arkansas (32-16, 15-8) won the opener, 5-3, when Colby Suggs recorded the save after Tyler Spoon and Brian Anderson each hit two-run home runs. It was Suggs' 10th save of the season and gave the Hogs their sixth straight SEC victory. The Hogs won their sixth SEC series. They have lost only two, both when losing on Sunday in extra innings.

The Hogs plated three runs in the first inning of the second game and took a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning. Suggs, who had also recorded a save Friday night, was not available.

Reliever Landon Simpson gave up three hits in the ninth, but he could have had a better fate except for the two-out error by Farris. It allowed the a run to score and the tying run move to third. The Wildcats followed with two singles.

Arkansas won the series over Kentucky (27-17, 10-14) after winning Friday night, 2-1.

In the opener Saturday, Anderson had three hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs to lead Arkansas at the plate. Spoon also had two RBI and scored twice, while going 1-for-4 at the plate. Matt Vinson was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Joe Serrano had a hit and a RBI.

Greg Fettes and A.J. Reed each hit solo homers for Kentucky. Zac Zellers also had a hit and a RBI.

Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek (6-2) earned the win after giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out four in 5.1 innings.

Jalen Beeks and Colby Suggs combined to throw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Beeks retired all eight men he faced in 2.2 innings, while Suggs entered in the ninth and picked up his 10th save, throwing a perfect inning.

Kentucky starter Corey Littrell (5-4) took the loss. Littrell gave up five runs on nine hits and struck out seven in eight innings.

Arkansas struck first with two runs in the top of the first. With one out, Vinson lined a single to center and was along for the ride on Spoon's two-run homer, an opposite field blast over the wall in right-center field.

Kentucky answered with a run in the bottom of the first. With one out and runners on first and second, Zellers hit a single into left field, scoring Austin Cousino from second base to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Razorbacks tacked on two runs in the top of the third with a two-out rally. Spoon drew a walk and Anderson followed with a two-run homer over the wall in right field to make the score 4-1.

The Wildcats got a run back in the home half of the fourth on a leadoff solo homer from Fettes, his third of the season.

Kentucky cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fifth as Reed hit a two-out solo homer over the right field fence to trim the lead to 4-3.

Arkansas regained a two-run lead in the top of the seventh. Jake Wise led off the inning with a double down the left field line. A sacrifice bunt by Brett McAfee advanced him to third and a sacrifice fly by Serrano to deep right-center field scored Wise for the Razorbacks' fifth run of the game.

In the second game, the Wildcats put together a three-run rally for the victory. With two out and runners on the corners, Matt Reida hit a grounder to second that was booted by Farris and went into shallow left field, allowing one run to score and putting runners on the corners. Leadoff hitter Kyle Barrett then lined a single to score the game-tying run. Zac Zellers brought home the game-winning run with a single to right-center to give Kentucky a 4-3 win.

Jacob Mahan had two hits and drove in a run to lead Arkansas at the plate. Tyler Spoon also drove in a run, while Brian Anderson, Joe Serrano and Matt Vinson each had a hit and a run scored.

Kentucky was led at the plate by Zellers, who had two hits, including a home run, and two RBI. Kyle Barrett went 2-for-5 with a RBI for the Wildcats.

Kentucky reliever Chandler Shepherd (4-0) earned the win after striking out one in a scoreless ninth inning.

Arkansas reliever Landon Simpson (1-1) took the loss. Simpson gave up an unearned run on two hits in a third of an inning.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Arkansas starter Randall Fant gave up a run on three hits and struck out five in 5.1 innings. Kentucky starter Kyle Cody gave up three runs, only one earned, and struck out five in seven innings.

Arkansas reliever Michael Gunn tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, while Brandon Moore struck out the only batter he faced.

Arkansas struck first, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Serrano reached on a fielding error by the Kentucky second baseman to start the inning and then advanced to third on a hit-and-run single to left by Vinson.

Spoon drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Serrano from third. A base hit by Anderson to right advanced Vinson to third and he was able to score on a fielding error by Barrett in right field. A two-out single up the middle by Mahan brought home Anderson with the third run of the inning to give Arkansas a 3-0 lead.

Kentucky responded with a run in the bottom of the first as Zellers hit a solo homer over the wall in left field to cut the lead to 3-1.

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