Kentucky Wildcats Baseball: Arkansas takes Game One


As the ninth inning rolled around at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville, Kentucky fans were hoping a miracle would happen. As Kyle Barrett stepped up to the plate to lead-off the inning, The ‘Cats were down by two with three outs left. Would Kentucky be able to make a comeback? How about we backtrack just a bit and find out how we got here.

First Inning

As the first pitch was thrown just around 7:05 PM, in front of a crowd of just over 9,000, the Kentucky Wildcats took the field against SEC West foe Arkansas. Starting for the Razorbacks was the Junior right hander Trey Killian. While on the other side of the diamond, the Wildcats were starting the Sophomore righty Zack Brown. Both teams came into this game looking to climb the ladder in SEC play, but only one will get the chance to do that tonight.

As not much was rolling for the ‘Cats in the top of the first, the Razorbacks hit the ground running in the bottom half of the inning. Andrew Benintendi (Key Player in this series) roped a home run down the right field line with two outs in the inning. That was Benintendi’s 12th home run this season which leads the SEC and put Arkansas ahead 1-0.

Second Inning

As the second inning rolled around and Kentucky was down early, the ‘Cats needed some offense. As Dorian Hairston stepped to the plate to lead-off the inning, Hairston belted a solo home run to tie the game and give the ‘Cats some momentum.

The Hogs went into the bottom half of the second looking to strike again, and that’s just what they did. The Hogs recorded three straight hits which included a Michael Bernal RBI single. Arkansas would also score on a wild pitch from Brown to give the Hogs a 3-1 lead at the end of the second.

Third Inning

In the top of the third inning, Kyle Barrett notched his 143 career hit, which puts him at No. 27 on the All-Time hits leaders list.

Fourth Inning

Clark Egan will add an insurance run for the Hogs in the bottom of the fourth. A two out RBI single put the Hogs ahead 4-1.

Seventh Inning

Tonight’s game was a much more slower paced game, but the seventh inning sure was a fun one. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Kyle Barrett stepped to the plate. Barrett drilled a ball into the shortstops hands, where he then proceeded to start the double play. But then something tremendous happened. Barrett was safe at first, putting runners on the corners and the tying run at the plate. After a White walk, stepping into the box was Ka’ai Tom. Tom took his 12th two strike hit into left field reloading the bases and and scoring Fettes. Then stepped in the Hometown Hero, JaVon Shelby. Shelby looking to reduce the gap did just that, but in a strange way. Shelby was hit by a pitch (which is a stat he leads the SEC in) and reduced the gap to 4-3, where it would stand at the end of the inning.

But all fairy tales come to an end. The big bad wolf stepped into the box and his name was Andrew Benintendi. Benintendi ripped his second homer of the night, and 13th of the year to give Arkansas a 5-3 lead over the ‘Cats. Oh and P.S. Benintendi’s home run was hit completely out of the stadium.

Ninth Inning

Ah, now back to where we were in the beginning. With Barrett at the plate, we all needed to have a little bit of faith. Barrett then hit a roller to Bobby Wernes when heaven’s gates must have opened. The ball rolled under Wernes glove and Barrett reached base safely. As Evan White stepped to the plate Kentucky could just hear the angels singing. But then the sun rays closed and White grounded into a double play. Ka’ai Tom then stepped in to try to salvage the game but ended up being the final out.

Arkansas beats Kentucky in the first game of the series 5-3. Kentucky was outhit tonight 11-9, but played better defense than the Hogs as Kentucky was flawless tonight. The next game is Saturday at 7:05 PM.