LIVE UPDATES: Hogs Aim to Avoid History in Arkansas vs Kentucky at SEC Tournament

Arkansas baseball, Kentucky baseball, Arkansas vs Kentucky, SEC Tournament
photo credit: Kentucky Athletics / Arkansas Athletics

There was quite a bit of carnage on Day 2 of the 2024 SEC Tournament and Arkansas was part of it, as each of the top-4 seeds – despite earning a bye – lost. It’s the first time that’s happened at the event since 2010. It had never happened under its current format, which was implemented in 2013.

What that means is two of those teams, all of whom are projected to be top-8 national seeds in the NCAA Tournament next week, will leave Hoover, Ala., without a win. That also hasn’t happened.

The first of those elimination games is Arkansas vs Kentucky at 9:30 a.m. CT Thursday on SEC Network. The No. 5 Razorbacks will try to avoid being part of more history by getting some revenge on the No. 2 Wildcats, who were one of three teams to win a series against them this year.

Kentucky, the 3 seed, took two of three earlier this month, but the one game 2 seed Arkansas won was with ace Hagen Smith on the mound. The left-hander is pitching again Thursday, but will likely be on a pitch count as head coach Dave Van Horn gets his team ready for regionals next weekend.

Follow along below for updates from the Arkansas vs Kentucky rematch at the 2024 SEC Tournament…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth recap of the Hogs’ first game at the SEC Tournament)

LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Kentucky (SEC Tournament)

Pregame Tidbits

Dave Van Horn has once again shuffled his starting lineup. Most notably, Will Edmunson is starting in left field after getting a pinch-hit single in Wednesday’s loss. His last start was the Kentucky finale on May 5, in which he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Also, Ryder Helfrick is getting the nod at designated hitter over Nolan Souza, while Wehiwa Aloy is all the way down in the 6-hole. It’s only the third time he’s hit sixth or lower this season.

The Razorbacks are the “road” team today, meaning they’ll hit first.

T-1st: Arkansas 0, Kentucky 0

Stovall reached with a two-out single, but that was it for the Razorbacks. They did, however, force Pooser to throw 17 pitches.

B-1st: Kentucky 2, Arkansas 0

It was about as bad of a start as you can imagine for Arkansas. Smith walked the leadoff man and then threw away a pickoff attempt, with the E1 moving Waldschmidt to second. Pitre followed with a sinking line drive that Stovall whiffed, resulting in a single that put runners on the corners. Burkes laid down a perfect safety squeeze to score Waldschmidt. During the next at bat, Pitre swiped third and then scored when White’s throw was wild and got by Sprague-Lott. Smith responded by striking out the next two batters, so both runs were unearned. He threw 20 pitches.

T-2nd: Kentucky 2, Arkansas 0

It looks like McLaughlin had got Arkansas on the board with a leadoff home run, but McCarthy made a fantastic catch in center to rob him. Then Aloy and Holt quickly grounded out, making it a nine-pitch inning for Pooser, who’s up to 26 total pitches.

B-2nd: Kentucky 2, Arkansas 0

Smith notched another couple of strikeouts sandwiched around a single by McCarthy, who reached on a hit that Aloy probably should have fielded. The inning ended on a fly out to left. Smith has thrown 36 total pitches and his day appears to be done. His velocity was down in his two innings of work and the SEC Network showed him having a lengthy conversation with Matt Hobbs.

T-3rd: Kentucky 2, Arkansas 0

The Razorbacks put together a little bit of a two-out rally with a walk by Diggs and single by White, but Stovall struck out to strand the runners on the corners.

B-3rd: Kentucky 2, Arkansas 0

Right-hander Gage Wood is now pitching for the Razorbacks. He struck out the first two batters he faced before Burkes hit a fly ball down the right field line. Stovall and Diggs collided trying to make the play and it fell in fair territory, resulting in a triple. There was no damage, though, as Lopez lined out to left, with Edmunson running a long way to make the grab. It was a 22-pitch inning for Wood.

T-4th: Kentucky 2, Arkansas 0

Aloy reached on a two-out single, but that was it for Arkansas. Pooser is up to 61 pitches through four innings.

B-4th: Kentucky 3, Arkansas 0

Wood gave up a one-out solo home run to Nicholson, which was crushed 421 feet to right-center, but that was it. It was still just a 12-pitch inning. He’s up to 34 pitches through two innings.

T-5th: Kentucky 3, Arkansas 0

Pooser retired Arkansas in order in the fifth and is up to 76 pitches.

B-5th: Kentucky 6, Arkansas 0

The Wildcats tacked on another run with a 420-foot solo blast by Waldschmidt. Then it spiraled for Wood, who then gave up three straight hits. A stolen base by Burkes mixed in turned the third of those hits, by Lopez, into a two-run single. Holt made a great play to throw Lopez out trying to stretch it into a double, but that was it for Wood. Right-hander Will McEntire entered and got Daly to fly out to center to end the inning.

T-6th: Kentucky 6, Arkansas 4

Left-hander Jackson Nove is now pitching for Kentucky, relieving Pooser, who threw five shutout innings. Getting into the bullpen is just what Arkansas needed, apparently.

After back-to-back singles by Stovall and Sprague-Lott, McLaughlin walked to load the bases. Aloy drove in a run with a slow roller to short that turned into an RBI ground out and then Holt hit a three-run homer to left. A four-pitch walk to Helfrick prompted another pitching change. Right-hander Ryan Hagenow entered and got Edmunson to fly out to center to end the inning.

B-6th: Kentucky 6, Arkansas 4

Right-hander Brady Tygart is now pitching for Arkansas. It’s his first relief appearance of the season. He needed only 10 pitches to retire the Wildcats in order.

T-7th: Kentucky 6, Arkansas 4

The Razorbacks got back-to-back one-out walks by White and Stovall, but they were stranded because Sprague-Lott popped out and McLaughlin grounded out.

B-7th: Kentucky 9, Arkansas 4

Tygart got a slow roller to start the inning, but he didn’t field it cleanly, so Smith reached on the E1. The next batter, Waldschmidt, crushed a hanging breaking ball 421 feet for a two-run homer. Tygart then walked Pitre, who moved to second on a wild pitch. In a 1-2 count, he plunked Burkes and that’s it for him.

Left-hander Mason Molina is the new pitcher for Arkansas. He struck out Lopez, but then Kentucky pulled off a double-steal. That turned Daly’s fly out to left into a sacrifice fly to give the Wildcats another run. Molina ended the inning with a strikeout.

T-8th: Kentucky 9, Arkansas 5

For the second straight at bat, Holt hit a home run. This time it was a solo shot. Edmunson reached on a two-out double, prompting a pitching change by Kentucky. Left-hander Evan Byers got Diggs to pop out to end the inning.

B-8th: Kentucky 9, Arkansas 5

Molina gave up a two-out single, but that was it for Kentucky in the eighth.

T-9th: Kentucky 9, Arkansas 6

Sprague-Lott tacked on another run for the Razorbacks with a solo home run, but that was it for Arkansas.

FINAL – Kentucky 9, Arkansas 6

Starting Lineups

Kentucky BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Ryan Waldschmidt – LF1. Kendall Diggs – RF
2. Emilien Pitre – 2B2. Hudson White – C
3. Devin Burkes – C3. Peyton Stovall – 2B
4. Nick Lopez – DH4. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
5. Mitchell Daly – 3B5. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
6. Ryan Nicholson – 1B6. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
7. Nolan McCarthy – CF7. Peyton Holt – CF
8. James McCoy – RF8. Ryder Helfrick – DH
9. Grant Smith – SS9. Will Edmunson – LF
Pitching: RHP Trey PooserPitching: LHP Hagen Smith

How to Watch Arkansas vs Kentucky (SEC Tournament)

Date: Thursday, May 22

Location: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (Hoover, Ala.)

First Pitch: 9:30 a.m. CT

TV/Stream: SEC Network


More coverage of Arkansas baseball and the SEC Tournament from BoAS…

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