Nick Lopez Named First-Team All-Southeastern Conference

Nick Lopez Named First-Team All-Southeastern Conference

The mustache is magic.

Nick Lopez was named First-Team All-Southeastern Conference on Monday, capping a sensational season that witnessed him flirt with .400 for much of the campaign. Ryan Waldschmidt earned second team honors, while Mitchell Daly, Mason Moore and Emilien Pitre were named to the All-SEC Defensive Team. The league coaches voted on the awards.

Nick Mingione also was named SEC Coach of the Year for the second time in eight seasons.

Lopez, a graduate transfer from Southern Cal, has been scorching all season before finishing with a .380 batting average and 1.053 OPS in 48 games as Kentucky’s primary designated hitter. He also saw early-season time at third and first base.

The Santa Ana, California native scored 52 runs, had 70 hits, two triples, six home runs, 22 walks and drove in 47. His 20 doubles are tied for the third-most in a season in the Mingione era. In SEC play he hit .348 with 31 RBI. He has 23 multi-hit games this season.

Waldschmidt was even hotter in conference play, finishing as one of a handful of players with a batting average over .400 (.405). Overall, he hit .370 with a 1.153 OPS, 59 runs, 16 doubles, 11 home runs, 39 RBI, 31 walks, 16 hit by pitch and 23 stolen bases, which are the most in a season for a player in the Mingione era.

Maybe most impressive was the Bradenton, Florida native produced this season after recovering from a torn ACL in summer baseball in 2023. He did not return to the outfield until several weeks into the season.

Pitre, a junior from Quebec, Canada, earned defensive honors for the second consecutive season. He has been nearly flawless with just two errors in 210 chances this season, a fielding percentage of .990. He forms half the duo of one of the best defensive middle infields in the country and was part of 23 double plays turned this season.

Daly, who excelled at shortstop at his previous stop, moved to third base at UK and has been tremendous, ending several games with defensive gems. The Madison, Alabama native had just two errors in 104 chances this season for a .981 fielding percentage and gave the Cats an athletic, fearless presence at third.

Moore, from Morehead, Kentucky, showed off the range and athleticism at pitcher that made him a star basketball player in high school. He was flawless in 14 chances off the mound and helped make sure two of three would-be base stealers were caught stealing against him.

UK will open SEC Tournament plat at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 local time on Wednesday, May 22 in Hoover, Alabama against the winner of LSU/Georgia.

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