Derrick Bleeker's bases-loaded triple off Alex Phillips in the seventh inning gave Arkansas an 8-7 victory against Kentucky in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday night.
Bleeker was out at home trying to stretch his hit to an inside-the-park home run, but the damage was done. The Wildcats (30-5, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) went down in order in each of the last three innings.
Kentucky's first players in its batting order — Austin Cousino, Thomas McCarthy and A.J. Reed — had two RBI apiece. McCarthy led the Cats with three hits.
Reed singled in two runs in the second inning. Cousino had a two-run double in the fourth. McCarthy's two RBI came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and a double in the sixth. Cousino leads the SEC with 14 doubles this season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Arkansas (25-8, 8-5 SEC) starter Ryne Stanek (6-1), a pre-season All-American and a member of Team USA's collegiate national team, worked a season-low 31⁄3 innings, allowing eight hits and six runs, walking two and striking out six. Cade Lynch (1-1) replaced Stanek in the fourth and turned in the winning effort. Lynch saved the Arkansas bullpen with 52⁄3 innings, allowing only three hits and one run, walking one and striking out four.
The series will resume on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. with the final two games now slated for a doubleheader with rains forecast for Sunday in Fayetteville.
UK junior lefty Jerad Grundy (3-1, 4.32 ERA) will face sophomore right-hander Barrett Astin (2-2, 0.84 ERA) in the opener.