Lexington On the eve of UK vs U of L Baseball 2.0, Kentucky junior designated hitter T.J. Collett has been named the SEC Player of the Week.
All he did over the weekend is hit game-winning home runs in both ends of a doubleheader sweep of No. 10 Ole Miss in Oxford.
The DH from Terre Haute, Indiana, helped power the Wildcats to their first road series win against a Top 10 opponent since 2015 with a pair of blasts on Sunday at Swayze Field. It was the first series win for UK in Oxford since 2013 and a year to the day since the club’s last road series win against a ranked opponent, which came at Georgia.
Collett, who now leads the team with nine home runs and 36 runs batted in, delivered a solo home run in the opening game to give the Cats a lead they would never relinquish, driving a pitch out to centerfield. In the nightcap, he broke up a scoreless contest with a two-out, three-run shot to right-centerfield on an 0-2 count.
For the week, Collett hit .462 and logged a pair of multi-hit games as part of a stretch where he has recorded a hit in seven of his last eight games.
Collett was named preseason first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and has managed good numbers despite facing defensive shifts in a majority of his at-bats, with opposing coaches stacking an extra defender on the right side of the infield against the leftie.
Collett has been a serious power threat in the Cats’ lineup the past two seasons. He has 20 career home runs and earned National Player of the Week honors last season after homering in four consecutive games. One of his most spectacular blasts came in Houston, which he launched into the second deck of Minute Maid Park, the home of the World Series champion Astros, last season.
The Cats host the Cardinals at Kentucky Proud Park Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET. It will be televised on SEC Plus. The Cards took the first game of the two-game set in Louisville earlier this season.
(UK Athletics contributed to this story.)