LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky redshirt junior starter Justin Lewis was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after his career effort in a 3-2 win over top-ranked Florida, it was announced on Monday.
Lewis is the second straight UK player to win SEC Pitcher of the Week, following sophomore closer Chris Machamer last week. The Cats now have won either Pitcher of Player of the Week six times this season and 11 times since the start of the 2017 season, the most of any school in the SEC.
The right-hander was brilliant vs. the Gators’ potent lineup, allowing just one hit and one unearned run in 8.0 innings as the Cats picked up their fifth win against a top five opponent. He tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, threw a career-high 119 pitches and did not allow a hit to the 28 batters he faced after the leadoff man in the game doubled.
The 6-foot-7, 205-pounder from Suwanee, Ga. has been a virtuoso over his past five starts, going 4-0 with a 1.42 earned run average in 31.2 innings. More importantly, Lewis has been a stabilizing force in the final game of SEC series, as UK has won all five of those games to either win a series or avoid being swept. He has not yielded an earned run over his past 14.0 innings of work.
For the season, Lewis is now 7-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 10 starts. He has struck out 75 and allowed just 50 hits in 60.1 innings, but is even better outside of one bad performance at Arkansas to start league play. Without that start, Lewis is 7-1 with a 2.57 ERA, 69 strikeouts and only 37 hits allowed in 56.0 innings of work.
Previous Cats to win SEC weekly awards this season are Luke Heyer (two-time Player of the Week), Chris Machamer (Pitcher of the Week), Tristan Pompey (Player of the Week) and Troy Squires (Player of the Week)