Corey Littrell pitched a gem to pick up his first win of the season against Akron on Sunday (Aaron Borton, UK Athletics)
Junior lefthander Corey Littrell took to the mound Sunday as he has almost every Sunday for the last two seasons. In his previous two showings, however, the junior had yet to look like himself. Going for the sweep against Akron on a snowy day at Cliff Hagan Stadium, Littrell heated up for the first time this season.
Going into play Sunday, Littrell - a Louisville Slugger preseason All-American - hardly looked to be in All-American form. In his first two starts in 2013, the Louisville, Ky., native had seen his earned-run average creep up to 6.52 in only 9.2 innings, allowing seven walks and striking out just as many.
Sunday, he didn't look like the Littrell of 2013, but rather resembled the All-SEC performer and reliable staff anchor of 2012.
"I thought Corey was a lot better today," said head coach Gary Henderson. "Just a much, much more efficient, much more poised outing and he'll keep getting better."
In fact, his outing against Akron was not only his best start of the season, but he was nearly twice as good as his previous two combined efforts as he picked up his first win of the season as the Wildcats defeated Akron 9-2 to pick up the sweep.
Littrell displayed great command, much better than he had so far this season. In just seven innings of work, the junior made quick work of Akron batters in striking out eight, which was one more than he had registered all season.
"The fastball away and the changeup were the biggest things today," said Littrell. "I was able to throw some cutters and curve ball to kind of keep them off balance and not just expect fastball and changeup."
Not only was he fooling Akron batters at the plate, he was adamant in not handing out any free passes.
Much of Littrell's early struggles have come due to a lack of command. Uncharacteristically, he walked five batters last weekend. Sunday? He walked none.
Despite the five walks against Coastal Carolina, he still managed to earn a quality start lasting 6.1 innings and allowing only two runs.
His seven innings of one-run baseball against the Zips lowered his ERA by a full three runs to 3.42. It also showed how much he's been working to make the proper adjustments in between starts.
"His big thing was he was just trying to work off of his last outing," said his catcher Micheal Thomas. "He had a pretty good week last week and it was all about settling down, not over-thinking it, making small adjustments, making the right adjustments and just filling up the strike zone."
Thomas has had the unenviable task of filling the void left by Luke Maile and Michael Williams who were each drafted last June in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Maile and Williams were not only offensive threats, but also worked wonders with the pitching staff as pitch callers and defensive presences behind the dish.
The redshirt junior catcher didn't have to start from square one with Littrell and the rest of the staff, however.
"I caught Corey a lot last year," said Thomas. "My main role was catching the bullpens, so I did catch him a lot. Weekdays and weekends, so I got to see a lot of stuff during his success. This year it's been a lot easier to help him with that from last year."
Conversely, Littrell has all the confidence in his new battery mate, especially with the way he's helped him already this season.
"Me and Micheal are really good friends on and off the field," said Littrell. "I'm comfortable with him behind the plate. He knows what he's doing and exactly what I do wrong. If I throw a bad pitch, he knows the right triggers to help me get back in the zone."
Littrell was working the zone well on Sunday. Pumping strikes in at better than a 2:1 ratio, he kept Akron batters off balance with a good mix of fastballs away and changeups to retire the majority of their hitters. Occasionally he would mix in his other pitches to keep them honest, but it was important for him to recapture his command.
Up until Sunday, it had been a struggle to find it, especially early in the early innings. He had it going from the initial frame against the Zips, and from there Littrell went into cruise control.
"Sometimes you don't have every pitch, but you've got to find it," said Littrell. "I had it in the first inning and it's been awhile since I've been able to do that, so that was good for me and confidence-wise it was huge."
Despite the slow start, Littrell has continued to grind to get back to his standards. Coming off an All-SEC season, immediate success was expected, but as often happens in baseball, he was humbled. Just as he did after last week's performance, he plans to get back to work and build off Sunday's gem in preparation for Michigan State as he looks to make 2013 feel more like 2012.
"You always go into the season expecting to do great," said Littrell. "But it's baseball and that doesn't always happen.
"I had a few rough starts. The second one was a little bit better than the first one, and this one was better than the last one, so now for next week (the goal is) to be better than this one."
The Kentucky baseball team took its home opener over Murray State on Tuesday, 11-5. Chandler Shepherd came on in relief in the third inning, turning in 5.2 innings - his longest career outing out of the bullpen - without allowing an earned run. He protected UK's one-run lead from the fourth inning until the eighth when the Wildcats added six insurance runs to salt away the victory. With a home run and four RBI, A.J. Reed was one of six Cats to drive in at least one run as UK moved to 6-1 on the season.
Kentucky returns to action at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday against Eastern Kentucky. In the meantime, check out highlights and video interviews below. Highlights
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 24:
Men's basketball: Willie Cauley-Stein
Freshman Willie Cauley-Stein had a breakout week in helping lead UK to a pair of crucial victories this week. Cauley-Stein averaged 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. His 19 rebounds for the week, .647 field goal percentage, blocks and steals were all team highs. Cauley-Stein began the week by pouring in a career-high 20 points to couple with a team-high seven rebounds and three blocks. He made 8-of-10 field goals in the win over Vanderbilt. In an overtime thriller of a victory over Missouri, Cauley-Stein played in a career-high 35 minutes. The first-year player altered the game defensively with a career-high seven blocked shots. His 12 rebounds was a career-high tying, and it marked only the third game in his career with double-figure rebounding. He added seven points to the winning cause in addition to another steal.
Baseball: Jerad Grundy
Senior southpaw Jerad Grundy continued his dominating start to 2013 with a win over Elon in a pitching duel with 2012 Cape Cod League All-Star Dylan Clark ... Grundy worked seven innings in the win, allowing only three hits and one run, walking two and striking out three ... Elon hit .136 against the Johnsburg, Ill., native with Grundy only facing three hitters over the minimum ... Grundy opened the first 12.1 innings of the year without allowing an earned run, before the Phoenix got a solo homer in the seventh inning ... On the year, Grundy has a 2-0 mark and a 0.69 ERA, tossing 13 innings, allowing seven hits and three walks, striking out 12, with foes hitting .152.
Softball: Griffin Joiner
Griffin Joiner continued her hot bat, earning a hit in every game to move her season-long hitting streak to five games - just one off her career best. Joiner hit .583 (7-for-12) for the weekend, while slugging at a 1.250 clip, and posting two or more RBI in every game. Her three hits against Howard tied a career high, while her three RBI against Howard and USC Upstate also tied a career high. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., blasted two homers on the weekend, including a go-ahead bomb in UK's thrilling 11-inning win against USC Upstate. Joiner leads the team with three roundtrippers, while sitting tied for first with four doubles and second on the team with 12 RBI.
Baseball: Max Kuhn
Sophomore infielder Max Kuhn continued his blistering pace to open the 2013 season, leading UK in hitting during a challenging three games at the Caravelle Resort Invitational ... Kuhn hit .385 (5-for-13) with a double and two RBI during the week, including a career-best three-hit game vs. Kansas State on Thursday ... On the year, Kuhn is hitting .320 (8-for-25) with two doubles and a triple, adding seven RBI and a 5-3 walk-strikeout ratio.
Women's basketball: A'dia Mathies
Senior guard A'dia Mathies led UK in scoring on the week, averaging 16.5 points per contest, along with 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals.
Despite playing just five minutes in the first half due to two early fouls, Mathies scored a team-high 13 points in the second half to help lead the Wildcats over No. 10/13 Texas A&M 70-66.
The win snapped A&M's 12-game home winning streak and gave UK its fourth win over a ranked opponent this season, including second win over a top-10 team on the road.
Scored 17 of 20 points in the second half at LSU, marking her sixth 20-plus point outing and moving her to No. 2 on UK's all-time scoring list.
Also grabbed six rebounds and equaled a team-high with three assists.
Has reached double figures in 25-of-27 games this season, including 18 in a row.
With four 3-pointers on the week, is tied for ninth on UK's single season 3-pointers made list with 55.
Ranks in the top 10 on 13 UK career lists, including No. 2 in scoring (1,863), No. 3 in steals (297) and No. 5 in field goals made (656) and 3-pointers made (159).
Only player in UK history to accumulate over 1,800 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 250 steals in her career.
Overall, leads the team in scoring (15.9 ppg), 3-pointers made (55) and is second in assists per game (2.4) this season.
Averaging a team-high 18.2 points per game in SEC play and is tied for the team-high with 1.6 steals per contest.
Men's basketball: Julius Mays
Senior Julius Mays was sensational in helping lead UK to a pair of critical victories this week. The senior logged 16.5 points for the week to go along with 6.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists. In the opener for the week, Mays logged nine points and a team-high six assists. He added six rebounds and a steal. He was magnificent in the win over Missouri playing in a career-high 44 minutes. He logged a season-high 24 points while going .500 from the field including 4-of-8 from behind the arc. He added six more rebounds and dished out three assists. Furthermore, he was 8-of-9 from the free throw line including a perfect 6-fo-6 in overtime. Mays has connected on a least one 3-pointer in 16-straight games and has made multiple 3s in seven-straight. UK is 5-0 when he pulls down six or more rebounds, which he achieved in both outings this week.
Softball: Maisie Steed
Produced for Kentucky in limited action, hitting .600 (3-for-5) for the weekend with three RBI, including a double, homer and stolen base. Steed's homer was the second of the season, ranking her tied for second on the team. The freshman walked three times against USC Upstate, coming home to score once. Steed played solid defense all weekend, not committing an error even though she played third base, first base and both corner outfield positions.
Men's basketball - Kentucky captured a pair of critical home victories this week including an overtime thriller against Missouri. - Senior Julius Mays poured in a team-high 24 points in the win over Missouri on Saturday. He launched four 3-pointers and has now connected on at least one shot from long range in 16 straight games. - Freshman Willie Cauley-Stein notched a career-high 20 points to push UK past Vanderbilt earlier in the week. He followed that performance with a career-high tying 12 rebounds against Missouri to go along with a career-best seven blocked shots. - Alex Poythress scored 21 points, while Archie Goodwin notched 18 - all coming after the half in the win over Missouri.
Women's basketball - Kentucky split road games last week, defeating No. 10/13 Texas A&M 70-66 in College Station on ESPN2's Big Monday before falling at LSU on Sunday in Baton Rouge 77-72. - Against the Aggies, junior center DeNesha Stallworth flirted with a triple-double as she charted 12 points, 12 rebounds and a school-record seven blocks. . - Mathies netted a team-high 20 points at LSU, passing former Wildcat great Victoria Dunlap as UK's No. 2 all-time leading scorer with 1,863 career points.
Gymnastics - Kentucky recorded its best score of the year at Florida on Friday. The Wildcats finished with a total score of 196.075, dropping the meet to the Gators' score of 196.975. - UK's score was good for the sixth best in program history. - The Wildcats used season-high event scores on vault and beam to reach 196 for the first time this season. - Audrey Harrison also notched her sixth all-around title of the season and fourth in a row, scoring a 39.225.
Rifle - The Kentucky rifle team finished second at the Great America Rifle Conference over the weekend, shooting a 4690 over the course of the weekend. - Freshman Connor Davis won the GARC individual air rifle title, shooting a 596 before winning with a 105 in the Final. - Senior Henri Junghanel placed second overall individually with an aggregate score of 1179.
Softball - The UK softball team continued its winning ways over the weekend with a 3-0 record, taking down Georgetown, Howard and USC Upstate. - Sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner led the Wildcats offensively with a .583 (7-for-12) average with two doubles, two homers, eight RBI and four runs scored. - Pitchers Ellen Weaver, Katie Henderson and Kelsey Nunley all recorded wins, while Weaver going five strong innings, allowing only one hit and no runs against Georgetown and Henderson allowing only one hit over five innings against Howard. Nunley threw the final nine innings against Upstate to get the win.
Baseball - No. 8 Kentucky continued its season-opening six-game road trip with the Caravelle Resort Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach. S.C., picking up wins over CCU and Elon and suffering its first loss of the year to Kansas State in the opener on Thursday. - UK finished the weekend with a ninth-inning win at Coastal Carolina, 2-2. - UK has hit .314 as a team through six games, slugging .435 and reaching base at a .311 clip. UK has stolen 12 bases and on the mound, owns a 3.57 ERA, with 16 walks and 42 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Track and field - The women's track and field team finished seventh in the SEC Indoor Championship team standings with 34 points, and the men finished 10th with 30. - Cally Macumber led all Wildcats with 15 points earned throughout the meet. Matt Hillenbrand led the men with 11.25. Macumber won the women's 3,000 meters SEC championship. - Hillenbrand won the SEC mile championship with a time of 4:01.55. Hillenbrand's time was a new personal best, and the seventh-fastest in school history. The junior became the first Kentucky athlete to win the SEC men's mile since David Freeman took home the title in 2004.
Men's tennis - The No. 6 men's tennis team traveled to Birmingham, Ala., this weekend and collected two wins in a doubleheader with Samford University and Jacksonville State, both by a score of 5-1, to move to 12-2 on the season. - No. 90 Anthony Rossi picked up his 93rd and 94th career wins in a UK uniform on Sunday with wins in both matches for the Wildcats. - Also picking up wins in both ends of the doubleheader for the Wildcats were Beck Pennington, Kevin Lai and Juan Pablo Murra.
Women's tennis - The Kentucky women's tennis team defeated the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks 5-2. - Freshman Nadia Ravita improved to 7-1 in the No. 1 singles slot after defeating Christiana Raymond 6-1, 6-2. - Senior Jessica Stiles and sophomore Stephanie Fox won their singles matches in straight sets, with Stiles winning 6-4, 6-3 and Fox taking the No. 6 singles point 6-3, 6-1. - The Wildcats moved into the rankings for the first time this season, landing in the No. 63 spot.
Men's golf - The Kentucky men's golf team opened up its 2013 spring season, placing 10th out of 16 teams in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate. UK finished 37-over-par with a final score of 901. - Senior Chase Parker was the low golfer of the week for the Wildcats, finishing tied for 16th overall at 4-over-par. - Junior transfer Ben Stow made his Kentucky debut, placing tied for 27th at 6-over-par.
Swimming and diving - The UK men's and women's swimming and diving teams competed in the 2013 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships last week with both the men (368.5) and the women (452.5) finishing in ninth place. - Junior diver Greg Ferrucci earned two second place finishes on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events and earned an eighth place on the platform. He broke the program record on the platform in the preliminaries with a 435.5. - Junior swimmer Lucas Gerotto broke multiple program records at the Championships including the 200-IM (1:47.20) and the 100-backstroke (47.29).
Thursday, Feb. 28 Women's basketball at Ole Miss - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 1 Softball vs. Illinois - 11:30 a.m. (Tampa, Fla.) Women's tennis at Arkansas - 1:00 p.m. Men's tennis hosts Arkansas - 1:00 p.m. Softball vs. USF - 2:00 p.m. (Tampa, Fla.) Baseball hosts Akron - 4:00 p.m. Track and field at NCAA Qualifying (South Bend, Ind./Fayetteville, Ark.)
Saturday, March 2 Baseball hosts Akron - Noon Softball vs. Loyola Marymount - 12:15 p.m. (Tampa, Fla.) Softball vs. Central Michigan - 2:45 p.m. (Tampa, Fla.) Baseball hosts Akron - 3:00 p.m. Men's basketball at Arkansas - 4:00 p.m. Swimming and diving at Last Chance Meet (Knoxville, Tenn./Athens, Ga.) Track and field at Last Chance Qualifier (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Sunday, March 3 Softball vs. Western Michigan - 9:00 a.m. (Tampa, Fla.) Men's tennis hosts LSU - 1:00 p.m. Women's tennis at LSU - 1:00 p.m. Gymnastics at Ball State - 1:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Akron - 1:00 p.m. Women's basketball hosts Tennessee - 3:30 p.m. Men's golf at USF Invitational (Tampa, Fla.) Swimming and diving at Last Chance Meet (Knoxville, Tenn./ Athens, Ga.)
Lucas Witt starred as UK baseball completed a 2-1 weekend with a win over Coastal Carolina to move to 5-1 two weeks into the season. The Wildcats were locked in a tie game in the top of the ninth inning when Lucas Witt stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a double and three RBIs. The Cats would score three more runs en route to an 8-2 victory.
And if not for Witt's defense, the game very well may not have been tied at all heading to the ninth. Take a look at the two plays he made in left field.
Witt and the Cats begin a stretch of 12 consecutive games at Cliff Hagan Stadium by hosting Murray State at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern) Tuesday, Feb. 26 - vs. Murray State - 4 p.m. (HOME OPENER) Wednesday, Feb. 27 - vs. Eastern Kentucky - 4 p.m. Friday, March 1 - vs. Akron - 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2 - vs. Akron (DH) - 12 p.m. Sunday, March 3 * vs. Akron * 1 p.m. ET PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Jerad Grundy 6-1 - Sr. - LHP - Johnsburg, Ill. (Heartland/Miami, Fla.) Week Stats: 1-0, 1 GS, 1.29 ERA, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, .136 opp. avg. Notes: Senior southpaw Jerad Grundy continued his dominating start to 2013 with a win over Elon in a pitching duel with 2012 Cape Cod League All-Star Dylan Clark ... Grundy worked seven innings in the win, allowing only three hits and one run, walking two and striking out three ... Elon hit .136 against the Johnsburg, Ill., native with Grundy only facing three hitters over the minimum ... Grundy opened the first 12.1 innings of the year without allowing an earned run, before the Phoenix got a solo homer in the seventh inning ... On the year, Grundy has a 2-0 mark and a 0.69 ERA, tossing 13 innings, allowing seven hits and three walks, striking out 12, with foes hitting .152.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Max Kuhn 6-1 - So. - 3B/1B - Zionsville, Ind. (Zionsville) Week Stats: .385 (5-for-13), 2B, 2 RBI, 1-2 SB
Notes: Sophomore infielder Max Kuhn continued his blistering pace to open the 2013 season, leading UK in hitting during a challenging three games at the Caravelle Resort Invitational ... Kuhn hit .385 (5-for-13) with a double and two RBI during the week, including a career-best three-hit game vs. Kansas State on Thursday ... On the year, Kuhn is hitting .320 (8-for-25) with two doubles and a triple, adding seven RBI and a 5-3 walk-strikeout ratio.
TEAM NOTES Eighth-ranked Kentucky continued its season-opening six-game road trip with the Caravelle Resort Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach. S.C., picking up wins over CCU and Elon and suffering its first loss of the year to Kansas State in the opener on Thursday.
Kentucky (5-1) - which has spent 11 of the last 12 days on the road - will return to action with its 2013 home opener on Tuesday, hosting Murray State at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK will then host Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, before welcoming Akron for a four-game weekend series.
The Wildcats posted a pair of challenging wins during the tournament, beating Elon, 6-1, in a pitching duel with 2012 Cape Cod League All-Star Dylan Clark and the Phoenix. UK's Jerad Grundy outdueled Clark for the win, tossing seven strong innings and allowing only three hits and one run, snapping a steak of 12.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to open 2013. UK finished the weekend with a ninth-inning win at Coastal Carolina, getting a base-clearing double from Lucas Witt to break open a 2-2 game, with Trevor Gott closing the door for his second win. UK suffered its first loss of the year on Thursday, as the Wildcats traveled to Myrtle Beach a day early to beat the rain and play Kansas State. The Cats beat UK, 7-5, getting a two-out two-run homer in the ninth inning for the final margin.
UK has hit .314 as a team through six games, slugging .435 and reaching base at a .311 clip. UK has stolen 12 bases and on the mound, owns a 3.57 ERA, with 16 walks and 42 strikeouts in 53 innings. Individually, J.T. Riddle has led the team with a .556 average (15-for-27) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBI, stealing two bags. Thomas Bernal has added a .364 average (4-for-11) with a pair of doubles and RBI, with sophomore Max Kuhn adding a .320 average (8-for-25) with a double and seven RBI. All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino is hitting .320 (8-for-25) with two doubles, a homer and four RBI, stealing five bases and scoring a club-best nine runs. A.J. Reed has hit .320 (9-for-25) with a triple, homer and seven RBI, while shortstop Matt Reida owns a .273 average (6-for-22).
On the mound, UK has used the weekend rotation of Reed (1-1, 5.79 ERA), Grundy (2-0, 0.69 ERA) and Corey Littrell (0-0, 6.52 ERA). In the bullpen, Gott (2-0, 0.00 ERA) has both wins with 3.2 shutout innings, with Walter Wijas, Dylan Dwyer, Zach Strecker and Tyler Cox each owning perfect ERAs in the bullpen.
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 17:
Baseball: Jerad Grundy
Senior southpaw Jerad Grundy had a great season debut, pitching UK to a win over Niagara on Sunday ... Grundy worked six innings without allowing an earned run, walking one and tying his career high with nine strikeouts ... Grundy allowed only four hits and held NU to a .167 batting average ... In the middle innings, Grundy struck out five consecutive hitters, not allowing a hit the second time through the order ... Grundy retired In his two-year UK career, Grundy has started 17 games with a 7-3 record and a 3.53 ERA.
Softball: Lauren Cumbess
Led the team in hitting against some of the best teams in the nation, helping the Wildcats defeat No. 16 Washington and San Diego State, who was receiving votes in one poll. Cumbess hit .500 over the weekend, going 8-for-16 with two homers, one double and five RBI.
Cumbess leads the team overall in batting average (.429), hits (15), homers (two), RBI (10) and slugging percentage (.657). She had a hit in every game throughout the tournament, including two against Keilani Ricketts, who pitched two no-hitters the opening weekend of the season to earn National Player of the Week honors. She is currently on a five-game hitting streak, the longest of the season by any Wildcat
The native of Normal, Ill., also pitched well over the weekend, going 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA. She threw a complete game shutout against Cal Poly, going seven innings, allowing only four hits while striking out seven. Cumbess paces the team in ERA with a 2.04 mark and is second in strikeouts with 22.
Softball: Kelsey Nunley
Pitched beautifully for the Wildcats in the second tournament of the season, posting a 2.21 ERA with wins against San Diego State, who was receiving votes in one major poll, No. 16 Washington and UC Riverside. She threw a complete game shutout against San Diego State, allowing only three hits while striking out seven and only walking two. Also went six innings the next day against highly ranked Washington, allowing six hits and one run - none earned - striking out three with no walks.
Nunley came on in relief against UC Riverside after UK just captured a 4-3 lead and shut the door, allowing the highlanders only one hit over her three innings in the circle while striking out two batters.
In her two starts over the weekend, Nunley went 13 innings, allowing nine hits and no earned runs with 10 strikeouts. In her four starts this season, Nunley is 4-0 and 6-0 overall. In those four starts Nunley has thrown 25 innings, allowing only three runs - two earned - while striking out 27 and walking seven.
Women's basketball: Jennifer O'Neill
Redshirt sophomore point guard Jennifer O'Neill led Kentucky to a 78-74 come-from-behind victory over No. 16/14 South Carolina.
Scored 19 points, including 10 in the decisive second half as Kentucky came back from a 16-point deficit to record its largest comeback in the Matthew Mitchell era and tie the fourth-largest comeback in school history.
Pulled down a season-high six rebounds and hit 6-of-7 from the charity stripe in a season-high 36 minutes.
With the game knotted at 72 with 25 seconds remaining, O'Neill found open teammate Kastine Evans under the basket for a layup to give UK a two-point lead. She later iced the game by sinking two free throws with 16 seconds to go, giving the Wildcats a four-point advantage.
Ranks third on the team in scoring at 10.2 points per contest, including 12.5 points in league play.
Has reached double figures in 12 games this season, including nine of 12 SEC contests.
Ranks tied for second on the team in 3-point field goals made (43) and 3-point percentage (.387). Her 3-point percentage also ties for fourth on UK's single season list.
Baseball: J.T. Riddle
Junior J.T. Riddle had one of the most prolific weekends in Kentucky baseball history, batting .786 (11-for-14) to open the year, with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI ... Riddle collected 19 total bases, charted a 1.357 slugging and a .824 on-base percentage ... In a win on Sunday, Riddle set a new program record with a 6-for-6, three runs, three RBI game at the plate, including ripping a triple off the centerfield fence, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle ... In the season opener, he pelted doubles off the left and rightfield walls in a 3-for-5 game ... In the finale of the weekend, Riddle went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs ... He had a walk and two hit by pitches, belting his first homer of the year as a no-doubt blast to spark a dramatic UK comeback win on Monday at USC Upstate.
Upcoming Schedule (times eastern) Friday, Feb. 22 - vs. Elon - 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 - at No. 35 Coastal Carolina - 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 - vs. Kansas State - 11 a.m.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE J.T. Riddle 6-3 - Jr. * 2B - Frankfort, Ky. (Western Hills) Week Stats: .786 (11-for-14), 3 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 19 TB, 1.357 SLG%, .824 OB%
Notes: Junior J.T. Riddle had one of the most prolific weekends in Kentucky baseball history, batting .786 (11-for-14) to open the year, with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI ... Riddle collected 19 total bases, charted a 1.357 slugging and a .824 on-base percentage ... In a win on Sunday, Riddle set a new program record with a 6-for-6, three runs, three RBI game at the plate, including ripping a triple off the centerfield fence, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle ... In the season opener, he pelted doubles off the left and rightfield walls in a 3-for-5 game ... In the finale of the weekend, Riddle went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs ... He had a walk and two hit by pitches, belting his first homer of the year as a no-doubt blast to spark a dramatic UK comeback win on Monday at USC Upstate.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Jerad Grundy 6-1 * Sr. * LHP * Johnsburg, Ill. (Heartland/Miami, Fla.) Week Stats: 1-0, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO Notes: Senior southpaw Jerad Grundy had a great season debut, pitching UK to a win over Niagara on Sunday ... Grundy worked six innings without allowing an earned run, walking one and tying his career high with nine strikeouts ... Grundy allowed only four hits and held NU to a .167 batting average ... In the middle innings, Grundy struck out five consecutive hitters, not allowing a hit the second time through the order ... Grundy retired In his two-year UK career, Grundy has started 17 games with a 7-3 record and a 3.53 ERA. TEAM NOTES Eighth-ranked Kentucky completed a three-game weekend trip to Spartanburg, S.C., on Monday with a dramatic comeback win at USC Upstate, 11-10, also picking up wins over UNC Asheville and Niagara on opening weekend. UK returns to action on Friday, traveling to Coastal Carolina to take on Elon, Kansas State and the Chanticleers.
Kentucky (3-0) opened up the year with a 9-2 win over UNC Asheville at Wofford, getting five strong innings on the mound and a four-hit game from A.J. Reed. UK then plated 20 runs in a 20-3 rout of Niagara on Sunday, with junior second baseman J.T. Riddle making history with a 6-for-6 game at the plate, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
After its game with USC Upstate was snowed out on Saturday, the contest was scheduled for a Monday matchup, with the Wildcats staying over a night in Spartanburg. UK opened up to a 6-2 lead before the Spartans rallied with eight unanswered runs to take a 10-6 lead into the eighth inning. UK started rallying with a Riddle solo homer, then plated three more runs to even the game in the eighth. With a runner at second base, UK turned to Thomas Bernal to pinch hit, with Bernal lacing a game-winning RBI single up the middle to score the go-ahead run. UK junior Trevor Gott closed out the game with the final six outs for the win.
A native of Frankfort, Ky. Riddle paced UK's offensive attack with a historic weekend, batting .786 (11-for-14) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI, drawing a walk and getting hit by two pitches. Bernal finished opening weekend with a .500 average (4-for-8) with two doubles, while All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino batting .385 (5-for-13) with a homer, four RBI and four steals.
On the mound, Reed, Gott and Jerad Grundy picked up the wins for the Wildcats, with UK starter Corey Littrell getting the nod in the USC Upstate contest. UK also used Walter Wijas, Chandler Shepherd and Jeff Boehm as veterans out of the bullpen, with freshmen Dylan Dwyer, Kyle Cody, Zach Strecker, Tyler Cox and Ryne Combs each seeing their collegiate debuts on the bump.
Kentucky will face Elon on Friday at 12 p.m. ET at Pelicans Park in Myrtle Beach, with the event hosted by Coastal Carolina. UK will face Coastal Carolina on Saturday, before finishing the weekend with an 11 a.m. ET matchup with Kansas State on Sunday.