LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior infielder/outfielder Luke Heyer and junior catcher/first baseman Kole Cottam have been named First-Team All-Southeastern Conference, the league announced Monday.
League coaches voted Heyer as the first-team designated hitter/utility position and Cottam was the first-team first baseman after the two tied for the league lead in home runs with 18.
Heyer, from Lithia, Fla., has burst onto the scene this season with his prodigious power at the plate. He has twice been named SEC Player of the Week and also earned National Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Playing three positions defensively has not hindered his bat, as he finished the regular season batting .343 with an OPS of 1.123. He led the league in home runs (18), RBI (57) and total bases (140), while ranking in the top five in doubles, runs scored and slugging percentage. He had 21 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games.
Nationally, he ranks eighth in home runs, 14th in slugging percentage, 17th in total bases and 38th in RBI and has appeared amongst the leaders in those categories all season. He also has had clutch hits throughout the season, including a two-strike, two-run, game-tying homer in the ninth inning of a win over Auburn that helped the Cats defeat Tigers’ ace Casey Mize while taking the weekend series.
Cottam, from Knoxville, Tenn., had not played first base prior to this season but turned in a tremendous year at the plate and in the field. He batted a team-high .346 with an OPS of 1.085 this season. He has matched Heyer’s 18 home runs, had 49 RBI and left the yard in 12 of the Cats’ 14 weekend series this season, including eight of 10 in SEC play.
Cottam led the SEC with 10 home runs in league play and Finished the season ranked in the top five in the SEC in home runs (1st), doubles (4th), RBI (1st), total bases (2nd), slugging (3rd). He twice had game-winning hits in the eighth inning to win series, including a bases loaded infield hit to make UK the only team to take a series from Georgia in Athens and a grand slam to erase a three-run deficit and knock off Missouri, a hit that earned him SEC Player of the Week. Cottam also was named a CoSida All-District Academic Team member.