Saturday was a long day for the BatCats. #5 Arkansas outscored #4 Kentucky 30-11 as they swept the doubleheader in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks totaled 13 home runs in the three games series as they swept the Cats to open SEC play.
Game One: Arkansas 14 Kentucky 2
We saw the true potential of the Arkansas lineup on Saturday. The Razorbacks scored 14 runs on 19 hits in a blowout win over #4 UK in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Arkansas was all over UK’s starting pitcher Justin Lewis from the first pitch of the game as they led 2-0 before the Cats could even get settled. Lewis left a lot of pitches up, and Arkansas was taking advantage of his mistakes. In 4.1 innings, the Razorbacks scored 11 runs on 13 hits against Lewis.
It truly did not matter who UK threw out on the mound, Arkansas was all over the Cats’ pitching staff. UK’s bullpen allowed there runs on six hits in 3.2 innings of relief.
Arkansas dominated UK in every aspect of the game. The Hogs held UK to five hits and a .161 team batting average. Kole Cottam was the lone bright spot for the Cats in game one. The UK catcher hit his seventh home run of the year and drove in both of the Cats’ runs on Saturday. Cottam finished 2/4, but the rest of UK’s offense went 3/27 at the plate against Arkansas in game one. With their inability to produce at the plate, UK had no chance of hanging with an Arkansas lineup that hit .583 with runners in scoring position in a 14-2 rout.
Game Two Arkansas 16 Kentucky 9
Kentucky could not climb out of an early hole yet again in Saturday’s nightcap. The Razorbacks erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the first to set the tone in a 16-9 win over UK. Luke Bonfield drove in four runs as the Razorbacks polished off the series sweep.
This weekend was the first time a team took all three games of a series against UK since North Carolina swept the Cats in the opening weekend of 2017. Arkansas’ lineup blistered UK’s pitching all weekend as the Cats fell to 14-6 on the season and 0-3 in the SEC.
The first inning was hard on Daniel Harper and UK. The freshman pitcher allowed five runs in 0.2 innings tonight before UK had to go to the bullpen. Arkansas continued the offensive onslaught against Zach Haake. Carson Shaddy greeted Haake with his first of two home runs as Arkansas took a 7-0 lead after one inning.
Unlike the first game of the day, UK’s offense showed some serious fight after trailing early. The Cats scored four runs in four straight plate appearances in the second inning. The biggest of those RBIs coming from Tristan Pompey on a two-out RBI double that cut the lead to 7-4 in the second inning.Arkansas stretched the lead back out to four in the fourth, but the Cats stayed right with them. Ben Aklinski hit a two-run home run to trim the lead to 8-6 headed to the bottom of the fifth. But it was there that Arkansas turned on the afterburners and pulled away.
Jax Biggers made sure that the Cats would not cut into the lead anymore. Biggers hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to extend Arkansas’ lead back to four. Bonfield would single home another run as the Hogs led by five after the fifth inning.
The final four innings were a home run derby for the Razorbacks. Carson Shaddy and Casey Martin lifted home runs and Eric Cole doubled home a run in the seventh inning as Arkansas blew past UK. The two seventh-inning home runs gave the Hogs 13 for the weekend. The power surge on Saturday night was too much for the Cats as Arkansas won 16-9 to sweep the series.