The Wildcats enter their weekend series at Arkansas with a 30-4 record, a No. 3 national ranking and one of the top offenses in the country. Kentucky currently has the SEC's best league record of 9-3.
It is an unexpected success story for a team picked to finish fifth in its six-team division, but Arkansas coaches and players are all too aware of the Wildcats. Kentucky took two of three games from the Razorbacks last season and it took a ninth inning grand slam on Easter Sunday for Arkansas to win their series two years ago.
"Last year they swung the bats real well against us and they pitched really well, too," Arkansas first baseman Dominic Ficociello said. "They are a really good offensive team.
"It's kind of a challenge. It excites us."
"He was pretty hot and I've never seen anything like it," Van Horn said. "I'm not making any excuses, but it was interesting. I looked up two or three pitches into the ninth inning because I thought the ball was coming out of his hand pretty good and the scoreboard said 101 (miles per hour). You don't see that anywhere."
The No. 11 Razorbacks bounced back from their only weekend series loss of the season by winning two of three over Georgia last weekend in Fayetteville. Unlike at Oklahoma, Arkansas' offense came alive in the final two games - both wins - with a combined 16 runs scored.
Even with what is considered one of the SEC's top pitching staffs, Arkansas will likely need a similar offensive output this weekend. Kentucky leads the SEC in batting average, home runs and runs scored.
"It's going to be a big test," Van Horn said. "You look at their lineup and it's pretty balanced with right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters. They hit for power and hit six home runs in one game last week. They can beat you a lot of different ways.
"They can beat you 2-1 or they can beat you 10-9. You've got to play nine innings against them and finish, or they'll beat you."
Arkansas will use the same pitching rotation as last weekend with right-handers Ryne Stanek (Friday), Barrett Astin (Saturday) and DJ Baxendale (Sunday) taking the mound.
Saturday's game will be televised by Cox Sports TV at 2:05 p.m.