BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Ole Miss Athletics) It took just two games for Cael Baker to make his name known among Ole Miss baseball fans. And it took him just one weekend in the Southeastern Conference to earn his first SEC Co-Player of the Week honor.
Baker shared SEC Player of the Week honors with Arkansas All-American Heston Kjerstad after going 5-for-12 (.417) over the weekend with a double, two home runs, five RBI and an even 1.000 slugging percentage to lead Ole Miss to a series win over No. 1 Louisville.
The junior out of Gahanna, Ohio, burst onto the scene with a two-home run game in the second contest of the weekend, going 4-for-4 with two homers, a double and four RBI. He became the first Rebel since Cody Overbeck in 2008 to have a multi-homer outing within the first two games of the season. He's also the only player since at least 1997 to have a multi-homer game within his first two games of wearing a Rebel uniform.
He wasn't quite as prolific on Sunday, going 1-for-4 with an RBI, but that one RBI proved to be the difference in the game and the series. Baker singled home Justin Bench to cap off a four-run seventh inning and give Ole Miss a 7-4 lead. The Rebels went on to hang on for a 7-6 win to capture the series victory.
Baker is no stranger to success at the plate or the accolades that come with it. He won the junior college triple crown at Wabash Valley College last year, batting .506/.596/1.051 with 101 RBI, 25 home runs and 80 runs scored. For his efforts he was named the NJCAA Player of the Year.
The Rebel slugger is also up for the Golden Spikes Award Performance of the Week for his outstanding Game 2. Fans decide the winner each week via a Twitter poll.