Pitre, Lopez Push No. 8 Kentucky to Rubber Match Win over No. 2 Arkansas

Pitre, Lopez Push No. 8 Kentucky to Rubber Match Win over No. 2 Arkansas

For the second day in a row, No. 8 Kentucky received big-time performances from Émilien Pitre and Nick Lopez as the Wildcats defeated No. 2 Arkansas, 7-4, in a monumental rubber match at Kentucky Proud Park. Pitre and Lopez each went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI to lead the offense, while Mason Moore speared a solid pitching effort for the Kentucky staff.

In a matchup of two teams tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference, the Cats rebounded from a game one loss to lock down the series with back-to-back wins. In the two wins, Kentucky outscored Arkansas 18-7, using explosive offense and sound pitching to hand Arkansas its second series loss of the season. Kentucky’s 21 runs scored this weekend was the most allowed by Arkansas pitching in a three-game series this season.

With the win, the Wildcats (35-10, 18-6 SEC) sit alone atop the SEC standings with two weekends of play remaining. The Cats hold a one game advantage over Arkansas and No. 3 Tennessee.

The Kentucky lineup, led by Pitre and Lopez, received top-to-bottom production on Sunday, with eight of nine batters reaching safely. In addition to Pitre and Lopez, Nolan McCarthy carded a two-hit day, while Devin Burkes and Grant Smith each drove in runs on sacrifices.

On the mound, Moore led a stellar effort from the Kentucky pitching staff, which saw five Cats combine to tame the Razorbacks. Moore, a native of Morehead, Kentucky, started the game and earned the win, tossing five innings of two run baseball, only allowing three hits and striking out six. Out of the pen, Robert Hogan was tremendous once again, pitching a clean innings and picking up two punchouts. Jackson Nove and Cameron O’Brien held the Kentucky lead in tact, allowing Johnny Hummel to enter the game and earn his sixth save of the 2024 campaign.

Kentucky started the game with a first inning statement, picking up three strikeouts from Moore in the top of the inning before taking a lead it would never relinquish in the bottom of the frame, thanks to a Pitre solo home run. Another home run would extend the lead further, as Lopez lifted a ball over the left field fence and just inside the foul pole to extend the Wildcat advantage to 3-0.

A Nolan McCarthy double to lead off the fourth would spark Kentucky’s best inning of the day. A squeeze bunt from Grant Smith drove in McCarthy, who was originally called out but ruled safe following a successful Kentucky Challenge. Pitre drove in another run with an RBI double and a sac fly from Burkes brought the game to a 6-0 score after four.

Arkansas, who was hitless through the first four innings, responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, but Moore executed a strikeout pitch on his final toss of the afternoon to limit the damage. In the seventh, the Hogs cut the Kentucky lead to three, at 6-3, but O’Brien entered from the bullpen and picked up an out with his first pitch to limit the damage.

In the bottom of that frame, Kentucky would get the run back, as Ryan Nicholson singled up the middle, allowing Lopez to score on an Arkansas error.

The Razorbacks led off the ninth with a solo home run, but Hummel was able to get the final three outs to pick up the save and clinch the series for the Wildcats.



  • Kentucky now is 35-10 in 2024, 18-6 in Southeastern Conference play.
  • Kentucky is 21-7 in day games.
  • Kentucky is 2-1 in May.
  • Kentucky is 9-3 in SEC home games, 19-5 overall at Kentucky Proud Park in 2024.
  • Kentucky is 12-5 vs. ranked teams and 16-5 vs. Quad 1 opponents.
  • Kentucky owns the most Quad 1 wins in Division I.
  • This was Kentucky’s ninth straight game vs. a ranked opponent.
  • UK Coach Nick Mingione is in his eighth season at the helm and now owns a 251-160 career record.
  • Mingione needs seven victories to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
  • UK is 42-42 in the month of May under Coach Mingione.
  • Mingione now is 3-9 vs. Arkansas.
  • This is Kentucky’s first series win over Arkansas since 2012.
    • It is the first time Coach Mingione has won a series over Arkansas.
  • Kentucky’s 18-6 start to SEC play is the its best league record through 24 games in school history.
    • Kentucky has 18 SEC wins for just the fifth time in school history.
    • It is the first time since 2017 (19-11).
    • The school record for SEC wins belongs to the 2006 SEC Championship squad, who finished 20-10.
  • Kentucky scored three runs in the fourth inning, the 59th time this season it has scored three or more in an inning.
  • Kentucky’s 21 runs scored this weekend is the most Arkansas pitching has allowed in a series this season.
  • Junior INF Emilien Pitre went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI.
  • He extended his streak of games reaching base safely to 22.
  • It was his 13th multi-RBI game of the season and 28th
  • He finished the weekend 5-10, with six RBI, two walks, a HBP, and four extra base hits.
  • Graduate INF Nick Lopez went 2-for-4 with two runs, a home run and two RBI.
  • It was his 18h multi-hit game and 12th multi-RBI game of the season.
  • Junior OF Ryan Waldschmidt has a hit in 15 of his last 16 games.
  • Redshirt-junior OF Nolan McCarthy went 2-for-4 with a double and a run.
  • It was his 11th multi-hit game of the season and 19th
  • Junior RHP Mason Moore earned his team lead-tying eighth win of the season.
  • He allowed two runs in 5.0 innings, striking out six, while only allowing three hits and four walks.
  • He carried a no-hitter into the fifth innings.
  • Junior RHP Robert Hogan pitched in relief for the second game in a row.
    • He tossed a scoreless innings, striking out two.
    • Hogan finished the weekend with 1.2 innings pitched, allowing one hit, no walks, and earned four of his five outs via the strikeout.
  • Graduate RHP Johnny Hummel earned his team-leading sixth save of the year.
    • He pitched a scoreless innings and picked up a strikeout.


Kentucky will hit the road for four road games next week, beginning with a midweek contest at Xavier. The Wildcats and the Musketeers will play at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 7 before heading to the Sunshine State for its last SEC road series of the season. The Cats and the Gators will kick off the series on Friday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET, before closing the weekend with back-to-back Noon ET contests on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12. The final two games of the weekend will be televised live on the SEC Network, with streaming and audio broadcasts available for all four games.

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