LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After notching his first two career saves during three appearances last week, southpaw Sam Mahar has been named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, it was announced on Monday afternoon.
A native of Kenosha, Wis., Mahar made three appearances during UK’s 4-0 week, including securing his first two career saves. Mahar tossed four shutout innings during his three outings on the week, allowing only three singles and no walks, striking out three.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound lefty came on in the bottom of the 12th inning in a midweek marathon win at Indiana, getting the final three outs for his first career save in a 6-5 win. In the first game of a doubleheader against Alabama, Mahar came on to get two crucial outs of left-handed hitters late in the game to secure UK’s 7-6 win. In the series finale, Mahar was used for the final 2.1 innings vs. the Tide, securing his second save of the week.
On the year, Mahar has appeared in 20 games with two starts, owning a 3-3 record and a 2.75 ERA. Mahar has tossed 36 innings, allowing only 32 hits and nine walks, striking out 32. Mahar’s second save of the year helped the Wildcats set a new team season record with their 18th save of 2012.
Mahar is the third UK freshman to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors in 2012, joining centerfielder Austin Cousino and two-way standout A.J. Reed. Also, Luke Maile has won SEC Player of the Week twice in 2012, with Zac Zellers also boasting one SEC Player of the Week accolade.
Kentucky (41-11, 18-9 SEC) returns to action for the final week of the regular season, hitting the road for a trip that could extend as long as 15 days. UK will start at Murray State in Paducah on Tuesday, before facing Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., with the Wildcats nursing a half game lead in the SEC Title race. Following the final SEC weekend, UK will travel to Hoover, Ala., for the SEC Tournament, from May 22-27 at Regions Park.