Wijas Named BlueGrass Baseball Freshman of the Week
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After earning a surprise start on Sunday against No. 7 Florida and helping lead Kentucky to a 6-5 win, UK freshman right-hander Walter Wijas, has been named BlueGrass Baseball Freshman of the Week, it was announced Monday afternoon by BlueGrass Baseball editor Jon Hale.
A native of Elk Grove Village, Ill., Wijas was used twice during the three-game series with the Gators. In a tight game-one contest Friday night, Wijas was brought out of the bullpen with UK trailing by two runs in the eighth inning. Wijas threw up two scoreless innings to keep UK in the game and give the Wildcats a chance in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings. Wijas set a new career high with two innings pitched and two strikeouts Friday against the Gators.
With UK Sunday starter Alex Meyer out for 3-4 weeks due to mononucleosis, UK was without a clear picture as to who would take the mound to start Sunday against the high-octane Gators. UK turned to Wijas, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, for his first career start. Wijas responded by retiring the first 10 UF hitters he faced, carrying a perfect game into the fourth inning. Despite throwing 31 pitches on Friday night, Wijas tossed a new career-high 3.1 innings, allowing three this and one run, walking one and striking out a career-best three. Wijas’ starting pitching performance put UK in position to win the game, as the UK offense exploded for six runs over the first three innings to give the freshman a cushion.
On the year, Wijas has pitched in eight games with one start, posting a 2.24 ERA in 12 innings, allowing only nine hits and three runs, walking three and striking out eight. Opponents have for a .209 average off Wijas.
UK returns to action Tuesday, traveling to face Western Kentucky in Bowling Green at 7 p.m. ET at Bowling Green Ballpark, home of the class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, voicing the action.