Arkansas drops finale to Kentucky 4-3

LEXINGTON, KY (U of A) –  No. 23 Kentucky rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat No. 14 Kentucky, 4-3, in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Arkansas still won two of three in the series and its record now stands at 32-16 overall and 15-8 in league play. Kentucky is now 27-19, 10-14 in league play.

With Arkansas leading 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Wildcats put together a three-run rally to take the lead. With two out and runners on the corners, Matt Reida hit a grounder to second that was booted by Jordan 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.

The score stayed 3-1 until the bottom of the ninth when Kentucky put together a three-run rally to win the game.

Arkansas closes its home schedule next weekend as it hosts Tennessee in a three-game series. Game times are set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:05 p.m. on Saturday and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.