Posted: Feb 19, 2013 9:32 AM
Updated: Feb 19, 2013 3:04 PM
After reaching base in 15 of 18 plate appearances during opening weekend, Kentucky junior second baseman J.T. Riddle has been named a Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week.
Riddle went 11-for-14 during the three-game weekend and put together a 9-for-9 stretch. During a Sunday win vs. Niagara, Riddle became the first player in modern-era program history (2002-present) to go 6-for-6, finishing just a homer shy of hitting for the cycle. All told, Riddle had three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI. He collected 19 total bases with a 1.357 slugging mark and a .824 on-base percentage.
In the season opener vs. UNC Asheville, Riddle ripped doubles off the left and rightfield walls during a 3-for-5 game. In a comeback win at USC Upstate on Sunday, Riddle went 2-for-3, getting hit by two pitches and drawing a run-scoring walk. His no-doubt homer in the top of the eighth inning, with the Wildcats trailing by four runs, ignited a game-winning comeback against a USC Upstate team that set a school-record for wins in 2012.
The 2010 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball out of the Western Hills High School has last earned an SEC weekly accolade when the league tabbed him the freshman of the week in 2011. He hit .538 (7-for-13) during that four-game stretch with eight RBI and a pair of run-saving catches during his debut in rightfield.
During his three-year career, the dynamic infielder has played in 116 games with 109 starts, batting .300 (121-for-403) with 75 runs, 24 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 69 RBI. Riddle owns a .437 slugging and a .370 on-base percentage in his career, swiping 10-of-12 bags and fielding .973.
A 35th round pick of the Boston Red Sox out of high school in 2010, Riddle is coming off a summer in the Cape Cod League where he led the circuit in defensive assists, showcasing his dynamic glove work.
Eighth-ranked Kentucky (3-0) returns to action for the Caravelle Resort Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina at Pelicans Park. The Wildcats will face Elon on Friday at 12 p.m. ET, the Chanticleers on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET and Kansas State on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
Riddle joins Florida's Zack Powers, who launched two grand slams in a game to lead the Gators to a series win over Duke, as SEC Co-Player of the Week. Ole Miss righty Bobby Wahl was named SEC Pitcher of the Week and Alabama shortstop Mikey White SEC Freshman of the Week.