Big 12 regular season champion K-State highlights the 2013 All-Big 12 Baseball Team with four individual award winners and seven first team selections.
The Wildcats earned the Player of the Year (Ross Kivett), Freshman of the Year (Jake Matthys) and Coach of the Year (Brad Hill) while Jared King shared Scholar Athlete of the Year honors with Jantzen Witte from TCU.
WVU’s Harrison Musgrave
was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, while Kansas reliever Jordan Piché is the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
The 2013 All-Big 12 Teams and individual honors are selected by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.
Kivett is K-State’s second Player of the Year in Big 12 history after Nick Martini shared the award in 2010. The junior infielder has 23 multi-hit games this season and finished Big 12 play ranked second in the league with a .376 batting average over the 24 conference games. A unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection, the Broadview Heights, Ohio-native recorded a .439 on-base percentage and .475 slugging percentage in league games along with 10 stolen bases. In overall games, he hit .353 with 24 RBI, 24 stolen bases, 12 doubles and four triples.
As a redshirt sophomore, Musgrave compiled a 5-0 record in league play with a 1.02 ERA to lead all starters. In 53 innings pitched, he struck out 61 Big 12 batters and limited opponents to a .145 batting average while allowing just six earned runs on the year. Musgrave earned four Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors this season, becoming just the second player in league history to accomplish the feat. In overall games, he has gone 8-1 with a 2.14 ERA and .197 opponent batting average. He recorded double-digit strikeouts against three Big 12 opponents, including a season-high 14 against TCU. He is only the second sophomore to win the Big 12’s Pitcher of the Year award and first since Max Scherzer (Missouri, 2005).
Jordan Piché, a junior transfer from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, finished his first Big 12 season with a 3-3 record and five saves against conference foes en route to Newcomer of the Year honors. He is just the second Jayhawk to claim the award (David Narodowski, 2009). The right-handed relief pitcher posted a 2.20 ERA, 10th best in conference games, and allowed eight runs and five walks in 32.2 innings of work. Piché was the recipient of three Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors this season, becoming the first player to earn more than two in a single season since the award began in 2011.
Matthys becomes K-State’s first Freshman of the Year after posting an unblemished 5-0 record in 16 games against league opponents this season. The reliever limited Big 12 opponents to a .186 batting average, with a 2.20 ERA, five saves and 23 strikeouts in 28.2 innings of work. In 28 appearances for the Wildcats during the regular season, the Spring Lake Park, Minn., product is 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA.
King and Witte share the inaugural Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year honor. King, also on the All-Big 12 First Team, is a junior entrepreneurship major who holds a 3.52 grade point average. The junior is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member who started 50 of K-State’s 55 regular season contests. Witte is a graduate student in TCU’s liberal arts program where he boasts a 3.84 GPA. The senior, who has played in all 54 of TCU’s games, holds a communications degree and was a three-time Academic All-Mountain West honoree from 2010-12.
Brad Hill garners his second Big 12 Coach of the Year honor (2009) after leading the ‘Cats to their first Big 12 baseball championship with a 16-8 league record this season. It marked the first conference baseball championship for K-State since 1933. The Wildcats, who were predicted to finish seventh in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, made the biggest jump by a regular-season champion since the poll began in 1999. Hill’s squad is one of the best hitting teams in the nation and compiled a 39-16 overall record in the regular season. The 16 conference wins are a Big 12 record for the Wildcats, who are also four wins away from matching the program record for overall wins. Hill joins K-State men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber and football coach Bill Snyder as Coach of the Year recipients for the 2012-13 season. This is the first time in Big 12 history a league program has earned all three of those sport honors in the same season.
A year after having no players on the All-Big 12 First Team, K-State leads this year’s squad with seven selections, including unanimous choices Kivett, Shane Conlon, Austin Fisher and King, who becomes a three-time All-Big 12 honoree after earning second team honors the past two years. Only Baylor (2012) has tallied seven first team selections, while the three first team infielders by K-State has also only been done on one other occasion (Texas A&M, 2008).
Musgrave and Mark Payton (Texas) were unanimous choices, along with Baylor’s Cal Towey and Narhan Orf. Oklahoma also recorded a pair of unanimous first team honorees in Matt Oberste and Jonathan Gray.