Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, May 16:
Baseball: Jordan Cooper
Week Stats: 1-0, 5.14 ERA, 1 App, 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 5 SO
Season Stats: 4-4, 5.11 ERA, 19 App, 7 GS, 56.1 IP, 65 H, 36 R, 32 ER, 25 BB, 35 SO
Freshman Jordan Cooper continued to shine in the role as Saturday starter for UK, helping lead UK to a series-clinching win over No. 20 LSU ... Cooper tossed a career-high seven innings and struck out a career-best five in his fourth win of the season, coming in just his fourth career SEC start ... A native of Shelbyville, Tenn., Cooper had allowed only two runs in seven innings of work before allowing the first and second hitters in the eighth inning to reach base safely, ending his night, with the UK bullpen allowing both runners to score ... As a reliever, Cooper owned a 1-3 record and a 7.88 ERA in 12 relief outings and as a starting pitcher, Cooper has posted a 3-1 record and a 3.06 ERA.
Baseball: Braden Kapteyn
Week Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 App, 4.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO; .556 (5-for-9),
3 2B, HR, RBI, BB
Season Stats: 2-0, 2.21 ERA, 17 App, 2 SV, 20.1 IP, 19 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 20 SO; .297 (43-for-145), 10 2B, 6 HR, 28 RBI
Sophomore right-hander Braden Kapteyn had a good week on the mound as a key-inning reliever and at the plate as the designated hitter for UK, helping the Wildcats sweep No. 20 LSU, the first sweep of the Tigers since 1991 ... Kapteyn posted a win and a 0.00 ERA in three relief outings in the five-game week, hurling 4.2 innings, allowing four hits and two walks, striking out three ... At the plate during the week, Kapteyn batted .556 (5-for-9) with three doubles, a homer, one RBI and a walk in two games ... On Tuesday, Kapteyn pitched 1.2 shutout innings at Indiana and in the series-opening win Friday against LSU, Kapteyn picked up the win with a shutout frame in the top of the ninth inning, with UK walking off with the win in the bottom of the ninth ... Saturday, Kapteyn pitched the final two innings in relief of an outstanding outing from freshman starter Jordan Cooper, allowing one hit and striking out two in two scoreless frames ... On the year, Kapteyn owns a 2-0 record and a 2.21 ERA in 17 relief outings, posting two saves in 20.1 innings, striking out 20 ... At the plate in 2010, Kapteyn has a .297 average (43-for-145) with 10 doubles, six homers and 28 RBI.
Baseball: Marcus Nidiffer
Week Stats: .500 (11-for-22), 6 R, 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP, SO, .818
SLG%, .560 OB%
Season Stats: .321 (43-for-134), 29 R, 6 2B, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 13 BB, 13 HBP, 26 SO, 1-1 SB, .590 SLG%, .426 OB%
In his final two weeks playing college baseball and with his team fighting for a postseason berth, senior Marcus Nidiffer has gotten hot at the right time, helping lead UK to a series sweep over No. 20 LSU, the defending NCAA champions ... Nidiffer batted .500 (11-for-22) during the five-game week, with six runs, a double, two homers and 11 RBI, adding two walks, getting hit by one pitch and striking out just once, leading UK to its first series sweep over LSU in 19 years ... In a midweek game at Indiana, Nidiffer collected a 5-for-7 performance at the plate with career-highs in hits (five) and runs scored (four), adding a homer and three RBI ... Nidiffer's five-hit game marked the first five-hit performance for a UK player since All-SEC second baseman Ryan Wilkes totaled five hits in a win over Wright State in 2008 ... Nidiffer's biggest swing of his five-year career came with UK trailing by two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the bases loaded on Sunday, looking for the series sweep of the Tigers ... In the last at bat of his home career, Nidiffer hit a grand slam on a 3-2 pitch from LSU All-American closer Matty Ott, giving UK the wild comeback win, securing the second sweep over LSU in program annals ... In a series-opening win vs. LSU on Friday, Nidiffer drew a walk and added an RBI ... Saturday, Nidiffer turned in a splendid game, helping UK clinch the series, with a 3-for-5 performance, adding a double ... In a Tuesday game with Lipscomb, batted 2-for-4 with two RBI and getting plunked by a pitch ... On the year, Nidiffer is batting .321 (43-for-134) with six doubles, 10 homers and 34 RBI.
Baseball: Lance Ray
Week Stats: .474 (9-for-19), 2 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 5 BB, 2 HBP, 4 SO, 1-1
SB, 1.316 SLG%, .615 OB%
Season Stats: .369 (38-for-103), 11 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 18 BB, 3 HBP, 17 SO, 2-4 SB
Junior Lance Ray has continued to solidify himself as one of the top hitters in the conference, batting .474 (9-for-19) with two doubles, a triple, four homers and 13 RBI during the five-game week, helping lead UK to the series win over No. 20 LSU, the reigning national champions ... Ray added five walks and was hit with two pitches, striking out just four times and stealing one base ... Ray slugged 1.316 and reached base at a .615 clip during the week ... Ray started the week with a career-best four hits in a game at Indiana, coming a single shy of hitting for the cycle ... Against IU, Ray went 4-for-5 with four runs scored, five RBI, a double, a triple and two home runs, drawing two walks and stealing one base ... Ray had his biggest swing of his 37-game career in the series-opening win over No. 20 LSU, belting a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with UK trailing by one run and LSU All-American closer Matty Ott on the mound ... Ray went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, six RBI, two homers and a walk in the Friday-night win over LSU, his first career two-homer game, with his second three-homer game serving as the walk-off homer ... On Saturday, Ray went 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a hit by pitch, leading UK to the series-clinching win ... In a game with Lipscomb, Ray batted 1-for-4 with two runs scored, a double off the wall and two walks ... In the Sunday win that secured the sweep, Ray scored a run and got hit by a pitch ... On the year, Ray is batted .369 (38-for-103) in just 25 starts, with 11 doubles, one triple, 10 homers and 33 RBI, drawing 18 walks and striking out just 17 times.