FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas could not have asked for a better start to its SEC schedule. The Razorbacks beat fourth-ranked Kentucky, 9-4.
Now to do it twice more.
The two teams continue their three-game set Saturday at Baum Stadium. It’s a matinee, 2 p.m. Isaiah Campbell is expected to go for the Diamond Hogs.
Arkansas baseball vs. Kentucky series information
Saturday, March 17, 2018 — 2 p.m. CT
Sunday, March 18, 2018 — 1 p.m. CT
Friday, March 16, 2018 — Arkansas 9, Kentucky 4
Saturday, March 17, 2018 — Arkansas RHP Isaiah Campbell (2.00 ERA, 1-2) vs. TBA
Sunday, March 18, 2018 — TBA vs. Justin Lewis (4.07 ERA, 4.07)
How can I watch?
All three games are on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app.
Who is calling the Arkansas game?
Brett Dolan has the TV play-by-play with Troy Eklund as analyst. Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter will have the radio call on the IMG Sports Network.
One more with the Cats. On Sunday. Diamond Hogs then head to the road after that for a two-game midweek series against a subpar Charlotte bunch
Arkansas’ first SEC game of the season saw the Diamond Hogs only come alive for one inning.
Against the odds, it was enough.
Arkansas plated three runs in the first inning and beat Kentucky, 9-4, to open league play Friday night at Baum Stadium. As though the one big inning holding up wasn’t unusual enough, it came against the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Year. Arkansas chased 6-foot-10 Kentucky right-hander Sean Hjelle after just 3 1/3 innings.
Eric Cole, the second hitter of the game for Arkansas, hit a solo home run to start. Casey Martin walked and Dominic Fletcher doubled him home. A Hjelle wild pitch sent Fletcher to third and Jordan McFarland’s single up the middle scored him, too.
That was just in the first. Hjelle gave up four hits and walked Arkansas batters in his time, exiting with Kentucky trailing 4-1.
His counterpart, Blaine Knight, did just enough to counter. Both are All-Americans, but neither had their best stuff. Knight only made it 4 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits, but just two runs. Ultimately he left after loading the bases with two outs in the fifth. His replacement, Jake Reindl, walked in a run on just four pitches, the first batter he faced. But Reindl responded with a three-pitch strikeout to follow to get out of things and leave the Diamond Hogs with a two run lead.
Arkansas tacked on two for insurance in the bottom of the fifth. Grant Koch hit a two-run home run to provide the margin then he popped another, a solo shot, in the seventh, to make it a five-run game.
Kentucky entered the game ranked fourth in the country and tops in the SEC Country baseball power poll. Arkansas was fifth and third in those slottings. The two play Game Two on Saturday afternoon.