LEXINGTON, Ky. – National Player of the Week Luke Heyer smashed a grand slam to cap a dominating offensive display as No. 6 Kentucky started a six-game homestand with a 16-5 victory over Eastern Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Heyer, who was named the NCBWA National Player of the Week earlier in the day for his white-hot performance over the weekend, smoked a double in his first at bat on his way to a 3-for-4 evening with a double, grand slam, three runs scored, four RBI and a stolen base. He put the finishing touches on the win with a towering grand slam to left field to cap an eight-run seventh inning.
The senior infielder/outfielder was far from alone in attacking the Colonels’ pitching staff. T.J. Collett hit a 417-foot blast in a five-run second inning that gave him home runs in seven of the past nine games, while Kole Cottam held up his end of the Big Blue Bash Bros with a solo shot to left in the fifth after EKU had closed the gap to 6-5. Troy Squires rapped out three doubles in his four-hit night, driving in four runs in the process.
All totaled, those four Cats went 10-for-16 with 10 runs scored, four doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI.
On the mound, freshman right-hander Daniel Harper picked up his first collegiate win, while three freshmen and junior Zach Haake closed out the Colonels over the final four innings.
Bottom 2nd – Kole Cottam walked and scored on T.J. Collett’s homer to CF. Luke Heyer double to LF and scored on Ryan Johnson’s double to RF. Ryan Shinn reached on a bunt single, advancing Johnson to third. Trey Dawson walked. Troy Squires doubled down the RF line, scoring Johnson and Shinn. UK 5, EKU 0.
Top 3rd – Brenden Overton doubled to LF, advanced to third on Daniel Harris IV’s groundout and scored on Chris Botsoe’s groundout. UK 5, EKU 1.
Top 5th – Overton reached on an infield single and moved to third on Harris IV’s single to RCF. Botsoe singled through the left side to score Overton. Cornell Nixon tripled to RF, scoring Harris and Botsoe. UK 5, EKU 4.
Bottom 5th – Cottam homered the LCF. UK 6, EKU 4.
Top 6th – Will Johnson doubled to LF and advanced to third on Nick Howie’s single to LF. Alex Holderbach grounded into a fielder’s choice to third, scoring Johnson. Howie reached second on a throwing error by the 3B. UK 6, EKU 5.
Bottom 6th – Squires doubled to LCF and moved to third on Ben Aklinski’s single to CF. Squires scored on Luke Becker’s squeeze bunt. Cottam singled through the right side, scoring Aklinski from second. UK 8, EKU 5.
Bottom 7th – Heyer singled to CF and Johnson walked. Heyer and Johnson double steal to each move up a base. Heyer scored on a passed ball with Johnson moving to third and Dawson reaching first. Squires doubled over the LF’s head, scoring Johnson and Dawson. Becker and Cottam walked to load the bases. Collett was hit by a pitch, scoring Squires. Heyer hit a grand slam to LF. UK 16, EKU 5.
- Kentucky’s 12-1 start to the season is the best for the program since the 2012 club won its first 22 games.
- The offense has …
o Hit a home run in all 13 games this season.
o Scored 93 runs in the past eight games.
o Recorded 70 extra base hits this season.
o Scored 47 runs on 54 hits in the past four games.
- Senior 3B/OF Luke Heyer went 3-for-4 with three runs, a double, a grand slam and four RBI.
o Heyer has now hit four home runs in the past four games.
o His eight home runs are tied with T.J. Collett for the team lead.
o Heyer is leading the team with a .488 batting average.
o In the past four games, he is hitting .733 (11-of-15) with eight runs, 10 RBI, three doubles and four home runs with a slugging percentage of 1.733.
o His three runs scored and four RBI are both new career highs.
- Sophomore C/1B T.J. Collett went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run and three RBI.
o Collett’s home run gives him eight on the season.
o He has homered in three consecutive games for the second time this season and in seven of the past nine games overall.
o Riding a career-long 12-game hitting streak.
- Senior C/1B Troy Squires went 4-for-4 with two runs, three doubles and four RBI.
o The four hits are a career-high.
o The four RBI tied his career high set vs. Georgia on 5/16/17.
o Squires had two-run doubles in the second and seventh innings.
o Squires recorded the 26th sacrifice of his career, which ranks fourth on UK’s career list and just one behind Matt Reida (2011-14) for third.
o Squires has reached base safely in all 13 games this season.
- Junior C/1B Kole Cottam went 2-for-3 with three runs, a home run, two RBI and two walks.
o Cottam now has four home runs on the season.