LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior catcher/first baseman Kole Cottam and senior infielder/outfielder Luke Heyer each continued to garner awards for their performance during the 2018 season, it was announced Wednesday.
Cottam was named to the ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region Team as the first-team first baseman, while Heyer earned Third-Team All-America honors from Perfect Game/Rawlings. The two combined to hit 37 home runs this season, the fifth-highest total in school history for combined home runs in a season.
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 .352 with an OPS of 1.105 this season, 54 runs, 12 doubles, 51 RBI and 31 walks. The junior’s 19 home runs rank ninth on UK’s single-season list and he 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 First-Team All-SEC by the coaches, an All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a CoSida All-District Academic Team member.
Heyer, from Lithia, Fla., burst onto the scene this season with his prodigious power at the plate. He twice was named SEC Player of the Week and also earned National Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Playing three positions defensively did not hinder his bat, as he finished the season batting .348 with an OPS of 1.131. 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 also had 21 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games.
Nationally, he finished the regular season ranked eighth in home runs, 14th in slugging percentage, 17th in total bases and 38th in RBI. 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’ All-American ace Casey Mize while taking the weekend series.
Heyer also was named an All-American by Collegiate Baseball and earned Second-Team All-SEC honors.
Both Cottam and Heyer were selected in last week’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, with Cottam going to the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round and Heyer to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth round.