Aaron Kim's Big Weekend Earns Him National Accolades, First CCAA Player of the Week Award
LA JOLLA, Calif. - University of California San Diego redshirt sophomore catcher Aaron Kim was named Tuesday as the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Baseball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 25-March 3.
On Monday, Kim was one of 19 standouts from across all levels of college baseball, named as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Players of the Week. The other 18 selections were all from the Division I ranks, including reigning Golden Spikes Award winner Andrew Vaughn of California. Prior Triton honorees were former teammates Justin Beck (April 23, 2018) and Alex Eliopulos (Feb. 26, 2018), and current professional players Jack Larsen (May 15, 2017) and Justin Donatella (March 9, 2015).
Kim had a spectacular weekend to lead No. 14 UC San Diego to a four-game home sweep over Sonoma State. The native of Orange and graduate of Orange Lutheran High School started all four games, with three at catcher and one as the designated hitter, and batted .429 (6-14) with four runs, one double, three home runs, 10 RBI and two walks. He slugged 1.143 with 16 total bases, had a .500 on-base percentage, and fielded all 27 chances cleanly behind the plate, including four assists.
Kim did most of his damage to headline a comfortable 14-3 romp in Friday's opener, belting a two-run home run in the first inning and a grand slam in the second for his first collegiate two-home-run game and a career-high six RBI in the contest. He added a solo blast to briefly knot Saturday night's third meeting at 1-1 in the second, with the Tritons going on to a 7-3 victory. Kim walked and scored during a decisive four-run fourth. He capped the weekend with a two-out, two-run, opposite-field double to right center that gave the Tritons a 7-3 lead in the sixth inning of Sunday's 14-3 win.
Kim had two home runs and eight RBI for the entirety of his 2018 season. He hit all four of his home runs so far in 2019 over an eight-day span from Feb. 23-March 2. Kim is tied for second in the CCAA in long balls, and is up to 12 RBI. He improved his season average by 57 points over the weekend, from .286 to a team-leading .343.
This marks a first career CCAA Player of the Week award for Kim, and the first weekly award by a Triton for this 2019 campaign. Stanislaus State ace Chase Wheatcroft is the CCAA Pitcher of the Week for a second time already, thanks to a three-hit shutout.
UC San Diego (13-4, 8-4 CCAA) is a winner of six straight after a four-game slide followed a perfect 7-0 start, which was the best in at least the program's Division II history. The Tritons are scheduled to fly to the Bay Area on Thursday evening, March 7, for a four-game series at first-place San Francisco State over the weekend, but that series is now in some jeopardy due to unplayable field conditions at Maloney Field. The Gators are a still-undefeated 9-0-1 overall, and a perfect 7-0 in the CCAA.
B6: AARON KIM HAVE A WEEKEND! Two-out, two-run double to right center for the redshirt sophomore. AK has now driven in 🔟 in this series! #Tritons' last six runs have come with two outs. Some breathing room.— UC San Diego Baseball (@UCSDbsb) March 3, 2019
🔱 7#GoTritons #UCSanDiego #RoadToCary #CCAAbsb #D2Baseball pic.twitter.com/Cj7PZj0t3Y
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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