LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior Kole Cottam was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after a red-hot week that culminated in his game-winning, eighth-inning grand slam, it was announced on Monday.
Cottam is the third UK player in as many weeks to win either SEC Player or Pitcher of the Week and seventh overall. This is the 12th time since the start of the 2017 season a Wildcat has claimed one of those awards, the most of any school in the SEC.
The catcher/first baseman from Knoxville, Tenn. provided arguably the biggest blow of the season for the Wildcats, blasting a grand slam in Sunday’s game vs. Missouri to give UK an 11-10 victory in the series finale. The towering eighth inning smash gave the Cats their fifth win of the season when trailing after seven innings, but more importantly provided a series win after the Tigers had scored nine unanswered runs to erase a 6-1 deficit earlier in the game.
Cottam, who now ranks eighth in the country in home runs with 15, finished the week batting .571 with five runs, a double, a grand slam, six RBI and four walks. The five RBI in Sunday’s win set a new career high and gave him 40 for the season. In the final game of the last three weekend’s SEC series, Cottam has twice driven in the game-winning run in the eighth inning of a one-run victory.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has been a rock in the Cats’ lineup, hitting a team-high .353 with 43 runs, eight doubles, 15 home runs, 40 RBI, 26 walks, three steals and a 1.113 OPS. He ranks in the top 10 of the SEC in eight offensive statistical categories and is tied for the lead with eight round-trippers in conference play. He has homered at least once in six of the Cats’ seven SEC series and on 10 of 11 weekends this season.
Previous Cats to win SEC weekly awards this season are Luke Heyer (two-time Player of the Week), Justin Lewis (Pitcher of the Week), Chris Machamer (Pitcher of the Week), Tristan Pompey (Player of the Week) and Troy Squires (Player of the Week).