LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Arkansas got a two-run homer from Tyler Spoon in the first inning, lifting the 14th-ranked Razorbacks to a 5-3 win over No. 23 Kentucky, in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (26-19, 9-14 Southeastern Conference) fell behind in an early hole for the second consecutive game to open the series, as the Razorbacks used the two-run homer from Spoon and a two-run job from Brian Anderson to take a 4-1 lead after three innings.
UK collected seven hits in the game, including solo homers from Greg Fettes and A.J. Reed. Fettes belted his third of the year to lead off the fourth, with Reed smashing his 11th bomb of 2013 in the fifth. UK also got hits from Kyle Barrett, Austin Cousino, Zac Zellers, J.T. Riddle and Matt Reida.
UK starter Corey Littrell (5-4) suffered the loss, allowing five runs in eight innings, surrendering nine hits and two walks, striking out seven. Littrell’s eight-inning effort ties a career long. It marked the first time in a game the UK preseason All-America lefty had allowed two homers since April 9, 2011 vs. Auburn as a freshman.
Arkansas (32-15, 15-7 SEC) starter Ryne Stanek (6-2) picked up the win with a quality start. The ace right-hander worked 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs, walking two and striking out four. It marked just the second time in 2013 and the first in SEC play that Stanek had allowed three earned runs in a start. Lefty Jalen Beeks came on in the sixth in a one-out jam, wiggling out of the threat and working 2.2 innings, keeping the Wildcats hitless throughout his relief stint while striking out one. Colby Suggs earned the save for Arkansas, striking out two while throwing 11 pitches in the ninth.
UK will return to action in the final game of the series, with the second game of the Saturday doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Arkansas took an early lead after a two-run homer in the top half of the first inning. Matt Vinson singled into centerfield with one out and Spoon delivered a two-run home run over the wall in right-centerfield to score the first two runs of the afternoon.
Kentucky responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the first. Cousino knocked a double into right-centerfield and Reed walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Zellers brought Cousino home with a single through the left side, leaving the game at 2-1 through one.
The Razorbacks added two more runs in the third on a two-out home run. With two outs, Spoon walked and Anderson brought him around on a two-RBI homer over the rightfield wall.
Fettes added a run for the Wildcats in the fourth, leading off the bottom of the inning with a solo homer over the leftfield wall, bringing the score to 4-2.
Reed blasted a two-out, solo homer in the bottom of the fifth for UK’s second home run and third run of the afternoon.
A leadoff double in the top of the seventh would eventually lead to an additional run for Arkansas. Jake Wise opened the inning with a double down the third-baseline and moved over to third on a Brett McAfee sacrifice bunt. Joe Serrano drove the ball to the warning track in rightfield and as Barrett caught it for the second out of the inning, Wise was able to tag and score from third.