Andy Burns Named SEC Freshman of the Week
May 11, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Kentucky freshman infielder Andy Burns has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
Burns, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., helped lead the Wildcats to its first series win over Auburn in Lexington since the 1989 season. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder batted .300 (3-for-10) in UK's three games, leading the team with four runs, four RBI and three walks. Burns added a double and a home run, hitting second in the order while playing third base and designated hitter. During a game-one win over Auburn, Burns batted 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks, adding two RBI in a 6-5 walk-off win. With UK trailing 5-4 entering the bottom of the 10th inning, Burns drew a lead-off walk and scored the game-tying run. In game two, Burns added a sacrifice fly in a 6-3 UK win, going down in the zone with one out to drive a pitch into left-center field. In game three, Burns hit 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, drawing a walk and hitting his sixth homer of the year. Burns' home run came off Auburn freshman Dexter Price, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., marking the third home run Burns has hit off Price in his baseball career, combining high school and college meetings.
Rated as one of the top 10 freshmen in the SEC and the 29th-best freshmen in the NCAA by Baseball America in the preseason, Burns has had a prolific campaign in his first collegiate season. In 46 games, Burns has batted .296 (47-for-159) with 36 runs scored, eight doubles, one triple, six homers and 29 RBI, swiping 3-of-3 bases and leading UK with 19 walks. With the young and injury-impacted UK lineup struggling mid-way through the year, UK head coach Gary Henderson inserted Burns into the second spot in the order, providing an offensive spark over the last 19 games. In 75 at bats as the No. 2 hitter, Burns has hit .333 (25-for-75) with 23 runs scored, five doubles, three homers and 11 RBI, drawing 15 walks to just 16 strikeouts and reaching base at a .452 clip.
During UK's last 10 games, Burns has been the leading hitter on the club, batting .353 (12-for-34) with 10 runs scored and six RBI, drawing 10 walks to just eight strikeouts.
Burns is the third UK player to earn a conference player of the week accolade in 2009, as outfielder Chad Wright was honored as SEC Freshman of the Week and senior southpaw Chris Rusin earned SEC Pitcher of the Week earlier in the year.
Kentucky (26-24, 11-16 SEC) returns to action Tuesday, welcoming Morehead State for the final home game of the 2009 season. First pitch at Cliff Hagan Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. ET.