March 19, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a prolific week on the mound and at the plate in leading No. 6 Kentucky to a series sweep over the two-time defending NCAA Champions, A.J. Reed has been selected Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
Reed, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound left-handed pitcher and first baseman, picked up two wins in his two pitching appearances, also delivering the game-winning RBI in both of his pitching wins. The Terre Haute, Ind., native became the first UK player in the modern history of the program (1979-present) to start a game on the mound and as the No. 4 hitter in the order.
He led UK in hitting during the week with a .526 average (10-for-19) with two doubles, one homer and five RBI, adding a 2-0 record and a 1.12 ERA on the bump. Reed fanned eight in his eight innings pitched, including six innings in a start Tuesday, throwing first-pitch strikes to the first 21 hitters he faced. In his win on Tuesday vs. Wright State on the mound, Reed hit No. 4, batting a career-high 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Reed continued to star on the weekend in his first career SEC assignment, batting 2-for-4 with an RBI in the series-opening 4-3 walk-off win on Friday vs. No. 2 South Carolina. On Saturday, Reed helped UK clinch the series with a game-winning RBI double in the seventh inning, tossing two shutout innings in relief to pick up the win. In the finale on Sunday, Reed collected two hits to help UK to the first series sweep of USC since 2006.
In the midst of a team-leading 12-game hitting streak, Reed has hit .386 (27-for-70) with seven doubles, two homers and 28 RBI in 2012. On the bump, Reed owns a 4-0 record and a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings with 18 strikeouts.
Reed is the first UK player to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors since UK sophomores Corey Littrell and J.T. Riddle earned the accolade in 2011. Reed was also tabbed the SEbaseball.com Player of the Week in recognition of his dynamic week.
Kentucky (21-0, 3-0 SEC) is in the midst of a school-record 21-game winning streak, the third-longest streak in the storied history of the SEC. The Wildcats will return to action on Wednesday, traveling to Cincinnati for a 4 p.m. ET matchup with the Bearcats at Marge Schott Stadium.