April 14, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Top-ranked Kentucky got dominating bullpen outings from freshman Chandler Shepherd and junior Tim Peterson, leading the Wildcats to a 5-4 series-evening win at No. 9 Arkansas in the second game of the three-game series and the first game of a doubleheader, on a pleasant Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Kentucky (31-5, 10-4 Southeastern Conference) evened up the series with a 5-4 win, riding the dominating outings in relief from Shepherd (3-0) and Peterson, with Shepherd working 3.2 shutout innings in his first career SEC outing and Peterson notching his first save of the year with a perfect final two frames.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, taking advantage of three errors charged to veteran shortstop Tim Carver. After the Razorbacks rallied with four runs in the first two frames, UK answered with two runs in the top of the fourth, with the UK bullpen then springing into action in relief of starter Jerad Grundy, with Shepherd and Peterson combining to allow only one baserunner over the finale five frames. Grundy worked 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and four runs - three earned, walking five and striking out four.
The Wildcats pounded out nine hits, a game after collecting 11 knocks, with UK getting two hits and two runs from senior Thomas McCarthy. UK got hits from eight of nine hitter sin the lineup, with Austin Cousino scoring two runs at the top of the order, going 1-for-3. A.J. Reed, Cameron Flynn, Zac Zellers, J.T. Riddle, Michael Williams and Matt Reida each collected hits for the Wildcats, with Luke Maile drawing a walk.
Arkansas (25-9, 8-6 SEC) starter Barrett Astin (2-3) worked over four innings, allowing seven hits and five runs - two earned - walking two and striking out eight. He was replaced with two runners on and no outs in the fifth inning by Brandon Moore, who helped save the Razorbacks bullpen by working five shutout innings, allowing only two hits without a strikeout or a walk.
The series will conclude on Saturday with the second game of the doubleheader, with fans able to listen to the game live on the UK IMG Radio Network. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky took an early lead in the top of the first inning, taking a 3-0 advantage of two hits, a walk and three errors on Arkansas shortstop Tim Carver. Cousino led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and McCarthy reached on a high chopping infield single to third base. After Reed struck out, Maile lined a ball into the hole on the left side, reaching on a fielder's choice with McCarthy safe at second on the first error of the frame on Carver. After Flynn struck out with the bases loaded and one out, Zellers reached on an error charged to Carver on a line-drive up the middle, coming on the ninth pitch of the at bat to Zellers, with Cousino scoring. Riddle followed and singled to Carver, but his throw to second went into rightfield for his third error of the inning, allowing Maile and McCarthy to score.
Arkansas answered in the bottom of the first, as Joe Serrano reached on a high-chopping single over McCarthy's leaping glove at third base. After a nice diving snag in rightfield from Flynn, Matt Reynolds launched a two-run homer into the Hog Pen in leftfield, his fourth homer of the year.
The Razorbacks took the lead in the bottom of the second inning, plating two runs on no hits and three walks, including a UK error and a balk. Bo Bigham led off with a walk and Brian Anderson followed with a walk. Jake Wise tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt but the throw from third base went into the base line, hitting Wise in the back and allowing Bigham to score. Grundy then walked Jacob Morris, before getting a nice out in foul ground and leaving them loaded, with a run scoring on a balk during Serrano's at bat. Serrano then laid down the bunt, with Grundy getting a nice barehanded out at the plate on the bunt attempt.
UK regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning, as the Wildcats mounted a two-out rally. Cousino was hit by the first pitch of his two-out at bat, scoring after McCarthy ripped his 12th double of the year down the leftfield line. Reed followed and pounded a double of his own - his eighth - into the left-centerfield gap, scoring McCarthy for a 5-4 UK lead.
GAME NOTES: With a leadoff walk in the first inning, freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino has reached base safely in 33 of his 35 career games ... Cousino recorded his SEC-leading 15th double of the year ...
Luke Maile stole his team-leading eighth bases of the year ... Thomas McCarthy recorded his 12th double of the year ... Cousino was hit by his third pitch of 2012 ... A.J. Reed notched his eighth double of the year ... Luke Maile has now reached base safely in a team-high and season long 12 games ... Chandler Shepherd made his first career SEC appearance, working 3.2 shutout innings ... Tim Peterson recorded his first career save.