Riddle Named SEC Freshman of the Week
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- After batting .538 with eight RBI during a four-game week and making two spectacular catches in rightfield during a weekend series win over Tennessee, Kentucky freshman J.T. Riddle has been selected Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
A native of Frankfort, Ky., and the 2010 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball, Riddle led UK throughout the week with his offensive and defensive exploits, batting .538 (7-for-13) with a homer and a club-best eight RBI. Riddle drew a walk and got hit by a pitch, striking out only once, while adding a sacrifice fly and two stolen bases. While playing rightfield, Riddle – a natural shortstop – made two jaw-dropping catches to save extra bases, leading UK to wins on Friday and Sunday. Riddle’s best game during the week came on Sunday in the rubber match with Tennessee, when the freshman belted his first career homer, a three-run job to give UK the lead in the first inning. Riddle later laid out at the rightfield line to rob UT of extra bases with a fully extended, leaping grab down the foul line.
On the year, Riddle leads UK with a team-best .381 average (16-for-42) through 15 games, adding four doubles and 10 RBI, drawing nine walks and striking out only five times. A graduate of Western Hills High School, Riddle has added four stolen bases and leads UK with a .500 on-base percentage, slugging .548.
The weekly honor is the second consecutive SEC Freshman of the Week accolade for the Wildcats, as southpaw Corey Littrell – the 2010 Louisville Slugger Kentucky High School Player of the Year – was honored last week. Including senior shortstop Taylor Black’s SEC Player of the Week honor earlier in the year, UK has had three players awarded with a league weekly accolade through five weeks in 2011. In addition, UK junior right-hander Alex Meyer was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week after striking out 13 through seven innings in his season debut on Feb. 20.
Kentucky (12-8, 2-1 SEC) returns to action on Tuesday and Wednesday with a pair of midweek tilts, hosting Cincinnati on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Canisius on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.