Capitalizing on its historic year that brought a Big 12 regular season championship and top seed in the conference tournament set to start play tomorrow, several Kansas State Wildcats were honored yesterday for their contributions to the team’s success. Among the honorees were a conference player of the year, scholar of the year, seven first team players, one honorable mention, and two named to the All-Freshman team.
Taking home the day’s highest honor was IF Ross Kivett, who was recognized as the 2013 Big 12 Player of the Year. Kivett batted .353 this season while knocking in 24 RBIs, 12 doubles, and four triples to go along with 24 stolen bases. Although Kivett played well all year, he truly stepped up his game once conference season got underway and hit .376 in Big 12 play.
Also receiving an individual accolade was Jared King – a preseason Gold Spikes award watch list honoree and The Jug’s predicted team MVP. King shared co-scholar-athlete of the year honors with TCU’s Jantzen Witte – the first year the award has been presented. In addition to being named to the All-Conference First Team, the outfielder batted .342 on the season while maintaining a 3.52 GPA in the classroom.
Continuing the parade of hardware awarded to the Wildcat baseball team, relief pitcher Jake Matthys was named the Big 12’s freshman of the year. Matthys went 8-0 on the season, including a 5-0 record in conference play. He turned in an ERA of 2.01 in 28 appearances and also recorded six saves.
Topping off the player awards, coach Brad Hill was also honored yesterday. K-State’s coach led the team to its first ever Big 12 championship with an overall record of 39-16 while going 16-8 in league play.
Seven Wildcats were named First-Team All-Conference: sophomore IF Shane Conlon, sophomore IF Austin Fisher, Kivett, senior C Blair DeBord, King, senior utility man Tanner Witt, and P Matthys.
Senior OF Jon Davis was awarded an honorable mention. Pitchers Matthys and Levi MaVorhis were also named to the conference’s All-Freshman Team.