After throwing his first career complete-game shutout in a post-season berth clinching win over Ole Miss, sophomore southpaw James Paxton has been named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.
Paxton, who had lasted only two combined innings in his previous two starts, went the distance in his first collegiate complete game, striking out six, without issuing a walk and scattering seven hits. During his last three starts, Paxton had been limited in innings due to lingering injuries. Paxton emerged in just his fourth SEC start of his career, surpassing his previous career high of 5.2 innings.
On the year, Paxton has earned a 4-2 record and a save, notching a 2.57 ERA. Paxton, a native of Ladner, British Columbia, has worked 49 innings, allowing 42 hits and striking out 41. A year ago, Paxton led the Wildcats staff with 25 appearances out of the bullpen.
The SEC honor is the first such honor for Paxton and the second Pitcher of the Week accolade for the UK team, as Andrew Albers earned the award earlier in the year. Collin Cowgill and Sawyer Carroll have each been named SEC Player of the Week during the year.
Kentucky faces Alabama in the final game of a four-game day one of the SEC Tournament, on Wednesday at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. First pitch is slated for 9 p.m. ET.