White Continues Torrid Hitting Streak
Kentucky first baseman Evan White is on quite a roll. On Monday, White was named the SEC Baseball Player of the Week. And in Kentucky's 8-4 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday, White continued his incredibly hot hitting streak.
In Tuesday’s win at Cliff Hagan Stadium, White was 3-for-4 with three singles, three runs batted in, a run scored and a stolen base. And, for good measure, he turned an unassisted double play at first base in the sixth inning.
The one time he didn’t reach base, White hit a fly ball to the warning track in center field.
After Tuesday’s game, White touched on his current approach at the plate.
“I’m feeling really comfortable in the box right now,” he said, in perhaps the understatement of the season. “I feel a lot more comfortable with two strikes.”
Tuesday’s game continues a streak in which the UK first baseman is white hot. It comes on the heels of an outstanding performance last week that earned White, a sophomore from Gahanna, Ohio, the player of the week award in America’s toughest baseball conference.
Last week, White was 9-for-12 at the plate as Kentucky swept a three-game series against Buffalo at home. In addition to hitting at a ridiculous .750 clip, White added eight runs batted in, a triple, a home run, four stolen bases and three walks. White made 15 plate appearances during the week and reached base 12 times.
But the season didn’t start off that way for White. He had his struggles over the first weekend of the season, but Kentucky coach Gary Henderson is happy for how White has responded.
“He’s obviously seeing it well and getting a bunch of hits,” Henderson said. “The first weekend wasn’t very nice to him.”
White has been able to make the necessary adjustments, and the proof is showing on the field.
“I think he’s doing a really good job of taking advantage when they throw the ball down the middle,” Henderson said. “Any time the game is calling for it, he seems to get off a good swing.”
White knows that he has progressed since that first weekend as well.
“I didn’t have a great approach when the season started,” White said. “It’s kind of cool to see that grow as the season progresses.”
And if Tuesday night is any indication, White’s production at the plate should continue. He came to the plate five times in the game, and was productive each of the first four times he batted. In the first inning, White singled, then stole second base before being stranded there.
In the third inning, White knocked in Kentucky’s first run of the game with a sacrifice fly, scoring Tristan Pompey, making it 1-0 Cats.
White then singled for a second time, in the fifth inning, before being stranded once again.
But his most important at-bat of the game came in the seventh inning. With Kentucky trailing 4-1 and the bases loaded, White blasted a single through the infield to score Pompey and Troy Squires to cut the deficit to one, 4-3.
Kentucky mounted a huge rally in the seventh inning, scoring seven times to break the game open. Ultimately, it was White who scored what proved to be the game-winning run.
With his big game on Tuesday, White now leads Kentucky in batting average (.417) and RBIs (15). And if he can stay anywhere near his current pace, the Wildcats will reap the benefits.