Two weeks ago, the UK baseball team found themselves searching for consistency with a 4-6 record on the young season. Since then, the team has won nine out its last 11 games, including a 4-2 win over the University of Cincinnati Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. One reason for this recent turnaround has been the exceptional play of the Cat’s freshman class, especially the play of pitcher Corey Littrell and outfielder J.T. Riddle.
Littrell earned his third win of the year against UC, all of which have come at home. He pitched six innings, allowing just one run on eight hits. It was his third quality start of the year as he now posts a 3-1 record in 2011 by excelling in his role as a mid-week starter.
“I left a couple balls up and they put good swings on them and got base hits,” Littrell said, “but then I just knew I had to concentrate more. That’s what (UK) coach (Gary) Henderson told me, and I concentrated and got out of it.”
In addition to Littrell, outfielder J.T. Riddle has been doing more than his fair share with the bat lately. “The Riddler” went 3-for-4 against UC, pulling his batting average for the season up above .400. He hit his fifth double of the season along with two singles, and scored a run in the Cats victory.
“Well I’m glad (J.T.) is hot and I’m glad he is playing for us,” Henderson said. “He is doing a really good job. He’s getting hits when it matters too, not just getting hits but he gets hits when it matters. We’re really pleased with J.T.”
Littrell and Riddle are not the only UK freshman contributing to the team’s success. Matt Reida has played well at second base throughout the season and relief pitcher Trevor Gott has anchored the Cats bullpen throughout the season, and still posts a 0.00 earned run average to this point in the season.
“We’re good, and I’m not just saying that,” said Littrell of the team’s freshman class. “We’ve got great talent… We just know that we fit in and that we belong. We don’t have to be scared or timid or anything like that. We just know we can compete with these guys.”