LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior first baseman Evan White (pictured) was named a 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist, it was announced Wednesday, May 31.
This award honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. The semifinalists are 25 of the nation’s most elite players and White is one of four players from the Southeastern Conference on the list. Former Wildcat A.J. Reed claimed the award in 2014 and joined the likes of Major League Baseball stars Kris Bryant, Trevor Bauer, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and David Price, who also won the award.
White, from Gahanna, Ohio, recently was named Second-Team All-SEC and All-SEC Defensive Team by the league’s coaches. It was the third consecutive season White earned All-SEC Defensive Team honors and his defensive prowess earned him a Rawlings Gold Glove in 2016.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is hitting .366 in 46 games. He leads the team in doubles with 23 and slugging percentage (.629) this season. He’s scored 39 runs, driven in 38, hit eight home runs and stolen six bases. He now has 222 career hits, ranking him ninth on Kentucky’s all-time career hit list, and his career batting average of .353 is sixth highest in school history.
In 2016, he led the team in average (.376), at bats (226), hits (85), runs (44), doubles (15), triples (3), runs batted in (40), total bases (121) and stolen bases (10). White’s career .348 batting average ranks No. 7 on UK’s all-time list (min. 300 at bats). White’s .376 batting average in 2016 ranks him tied with Terry Shumpert (1987) for the 11th highest single-season mark in school history and his 85 hits rank him 11th on the single-season hits list.
White spent last summer playing for the United States Collegiate National Team, which traveled to Cuba, Japan and Taiwan. White was the team’s primary first baseman, starting 15 of 19 games and hitting .250 with eight runs scored.
Finalists for the prestigious honor will be announced on June 14 and the winner crowned on Thursday, June 29.
Katie Reed Named NFCA Third Team All-American
Kentucky sophomore shortstop Katie Reed (pictured) was named a 2017 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Third Team All-American on Wednesday afternoon, May 31, it was announced by the NFCA.
Reed becomes the third All-American in Kentucky softball history, joining current assistant coach Molly Johnson-Belcher (2009, 2nd Team) and Kelsey Nunley (2016, 1st Team). All of Kentucky’s All-Americans have come under the current three-team system.
Reed hit .353 on the season, upping her average by over 40 points from her freshman to sophomore season with 26 runs scored, 71 hits, 10 doubles, three home runs and 21 RBI. The St. Louis, Missouri native was 16-for-20 in stolen bases this season and had on on-base percentage over .370 through UK’s 58-game season.
Defensively is where Reed made her mark, finishing the Southeastern Conference with the highest fielding percentage for a starting shortstop (.961) including two appearances on SportsCenter’s Top 10 – with both appearances coming in the NCAA Tournament. Reed played shortstop for the first time in her career this season after playing second base her freshman season (2016).
Reed ended the season on a six-game hitting streak, and recorded a base hit in 44 of Kentucky’s 58 games – the highest amount of anyone on the team. Reed started the season with three consecutive two-hit games, and had four different three-hit games, with three of them coming in SEC play against Tennessee, Florida and Missouri.
Photos by UK Athletics