Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
It was a double dose of good news for the Batcats yesterday, as both Ross Kivett and Shane Conlon announced their intentions to return to K-State after being drafted by MLB teams earlier this summer. Conlon, a redshirt sophomore this year, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals but put the opportunity to play at the next level on hold in order to help K-State did something it fell just short of in 2013: make it to he College World Series.
The Wildcats had arguably the best year in history in 2013. In addition to setting a record for wins (45), they won the first conference title since the 1930s and earned the school’s first Super Regional berth. After downing #3 Oregon State in the first game, the Wildcats dropped the second and lost a heartbreaker in the final best-of-three game, 4-3. Conlon was a major part of that success and was recognized for his efforts by earning First Team Big 12 honors. He batted .341 this year and was second on the team in slugging at .502 while leading the team with seven home runs as one of the only consistent deep threats for K-State. His fielding percentage of .994 was the best among starting players.
Conlon is playing summer baseball with the Topeka Golden Giants this summer. Through four games he has hit .400, has an on base percentage of .471, and boasts a .600 slugging percentage. Through four games he has six hits with three doubles, two RBIs, and four runs. The only K-State player to leave early is center fielder Jared King, who will head to the New York Mets after his junior year. Ross Kivett, incoming freshmen Jordan Floyd, and Tyler Stover were all drafted but also chose not to sign.