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SEC Baseball

Bleeker's three-run triple downs No. 3 Kentucky

By Logan Wilson

This article was published April 13, 2012 at 10:43 p.m.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/MICHAEL WOODS --04/13/2012-- Arkansas center fielder Jacob Morris is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run in the third inning of Friday night's game against Kentucky at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

— Derrick Bleeker hit a three-run triple with two outs in the seventh inning to lead Arkansas to a 8-7 victory over Kentucky Friday night at Baum Stadium.

The Wildcats carried a 7-5 lead into the seventh inning stretch, but Bleeker made Kentucky pay the price for intentionally walking Matt Reynolds and consequentially loading the bases, and putting the go-ahead run at first.

"Hitting behind Reynolds, he's one of the best in the SEC and I knew it was coming,” Bleeker said. “I don't take anything personal and if they think they can get me out, best of luck to them."

Bleeker drove the ball into center field, where Austin Cousino dove in an attempt to make the catch which would have ended the inning, but ball got past him and allowed Jacob Morris, Tim Carver and Reynolds to score to put the Razorbacks (25-8, 8-5 SEC) ahead.

Bleeker attempted an inside-the-park home run, but was thrown out at the plate.

"I don't know exactly what their thinking was there,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “Sometimes they look at match-ups, how you've done against certain types of pitchers and they felt like that was the right decision. It looked pretty good there at first. It was a 1-2 count pretty quick and then they hung one out over the plate and Derrick did a great job of getting out on top of it."

Arkansas relief pitcher Cade Lynch helped give the Razorbacks a chance to win after starter Ryne Stanek struggled on the mound. Stanek allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of work and gave up an early 4-2 lead when the Wildcats scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning.

Kentucky (30-5, 9-4) lost its second consecutive game despite recording 11 hits.

"We scored three in the bottom of the third to take the lead and we didn't shut them down,” Van Horn said. “Then Cade came in and gave us a chance."

"We scored three with two outs (in the seventh inning) and then Cade came in and got them with about ten pitches. It was the shut-down inning we always talk about in the dugout."

Lynch retired 11 straight batters to close out the game and earn the win. The junior left-hander pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out four batters.

"He was in a zone and that kept us in the game,” said Arkansas shortstop Tim Carver, who went 4-for-4 with 2 RBIs Friday. “His stuff was good. He was keeping the batters off balance and really getting after them."

The Razorbacks and the Wildcats will continue and finish the series tomorrow in a doubleheader. Barrett Astin will start the first game for Arkansas and DJ Baxendale will pitch in the second game of the twin bill.


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