Leadoff homer in 10th the difference: Sophomore Chad Spanberger ended a scoreless duel with a leadoff homer in the 10th, a monster blast to right, and visiting Arkansas earned a 1-0 victory over Kentucky in the opener of a three-game series. The homer off Wildcats starter Zack Brown was Spanberger’s sixth of the season and his second in as many games — he went 3-for-3 with a homer against No. 25 Creighton on Tuesday.
Brown left after 9 2/3 innings, giving up just six hits and the one run. He gave up the homer on his 101st pitch.
Riley Mahan led off UK’s half of the 10th with a single and stole second. JaVon Shelby struck out and Tyler Marshall singled for his third hit of the game to send Mahan to third. Arkansas starter Domonic Taccolini (4-2) then struck out Dorian Hairston for his 10th strikeout and he coaxed a grounder to short to finish the complete game.
Kentucky (23-14, 9-7 in the SEC) plays two against Arkansas (23-15, 5-11) on Saturday starting at noon.
-- No. 11 Kentucky turned back No. 4 Alabama 3-2 in softball in Tuscaloosa. Meagan Prince relieved Kelsey Nunley in the seventh with the bases loaded and induced a grounder to second to leave the tying and go-ahead runs stranded on base. Nunley improved to 18-4 and the Cats are now 39-9 on the year, 14-5 in the SEC.
Abbey Cheek’s RBI double to right in the fifth gave the Cats their 3-2 lead. Nikki Sagermann’s homer with Katie Reed on base gave Kentucky a 2-0 lead in the third.
-- Three UK men’s basketball players and three from the women’s team were among 49 Wildcats to earn spots on the SEC’s Winter Academic Honor Roll.
UK juniors Alex Poythress, Dominique Hawkins and EJ Floreal were joined on the honor roll by Alyssa Rice, Janee Thompson and Ivana Jakubcova.
Several requirements must be met to make the SEC honor roll, most notably a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year or a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above.