Tournament Round-Up; Eight Jayhawks Earn Big 12 Honors
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – A little more than a year ago Kansas closer Jordan Piché was filling coaches’ email inboxes looking for a place to play. With nearly 100 inquiries sent, it’s safe to say there are nearly 100 programs wishing they would’ve been as responsive as the Jayhawks. The junior college transfer was named the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year, in addition to being named to the All-Big 12 First Team, as one of eight Jayhawks honored by the league Tuesday in preparation for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
Piché, the Big 12 saves leader who attended Indian Hills Community College for two seasons before coming to Kansas, was named among the conference’s top players along with Michael Suiter, who earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors, and All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selections Alex DeLeon, Ka’iana Eldredge, Kevin Kuntz, Justin Protacio, Dakota Smith and Thomas Taylor. Piché is Kansas’ first All-Big 12 First Team selection since 2010 and the eight honorees are the most for Kansas since 10 players were recognized following the 2005 season.
Piché 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. 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.
“It’s a great compliment to the year Jordan just had,” Kansas head coach Ritch Price said. “Look at the impact he’s made on our team – we’ve got 31 wins, finished 12-12 in our league largely because he’s been so special at the back end of our games. David Narodowski won the same award in 2009 and we made the NCAA Tournament, so hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come, and hopefully we’ll hand that ball to him with the lead a couple times this week in the ninth inning.”
Additionally, the Big 12 Conference announced that it would continue with plans to play the tournament at Bricktown Ballpark in downtown Oklahoma City, after receiving affirmation from local officials that it would be the right thing to do despite Monday’s devastating tornado in Moore, Okla., a south OKC suburb. The conference will delay the start of the tournament from Wednesday to Thursday, and adjusted the format to pool play with the same divisions as the previous double-elimination tournament was set up. The Jayhawks will open championship play against West Virginia at 4 p.m. Thursday, and will play both Oklahoma State and TCU in single games Friday and Saturday.
The Big 12 Conference is working on a collective way to support the victims of the Moore tornado, but each team is taking an opportunity to do its small part. Jayhawk players collected more than $1,200 of their own money and planned to purchase requested supplies to donate Wednesday afternoon.
2013 ALL-BIG 12 BASEBALL AWARDS
Player of the Year: Ross Kivett, Kansas State, Jr., INF
Pitcher of the Year: Harrison Musgrave, West Virginia, So., LHP
Newcomer of the Year: Jordan Piché, Kansas, Jr., RHP
Freshman of the Year: Jake Matthys, Kansas State, Fr., RHP
Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Jared King, Kansas State, Jr., OF
Jantzen Witte, TCU, Sr., INF
Coach of the Year: Brad Hill, Kansas State
ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
Name, School Pos. Cl. Hometown/Previous School
Cal Towey, Baylor*+ INF Sr. Seattle, Wash./Eastside Catholic
Shane Conlon, Kansas State* INF So. Naperville, Ill./Central
Austin Fisher, Kansas State* INF So. Lenexa, Kan./Olathe Northwest
Ross Kivett, Kansas State* INF Jr. Broadview Heights, Ohio/St. Edward
Matt Oberste, Oklahoma* INF Jr. Salisaw, Okla./Blinn College
Blair DeBord, Kansas State C Jr. Manhattan, Kan./Manhattan
Zach Fish, Oklahoma State OF So. Kalamazoo, Mich./Gull Lake
Jared King, Kansas State*+% OF Jr. Dublin, Ohio/Jerome
Mark Payton, Texas*+ OF Jr. Chicago, Ill./St. Rita
Nathan Orf, Baylor^ DH Sr. Wentzville, Mo./Illinois-Chicago
Tanner Witt, Kansas State UTL Sr. Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich
Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma* SP Jr. Chandler, Okla./Eastern Oklahoma State
Preston Morrison, TCU SP So. Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson
Harrison Musgrave, West Virginia* SP So. Bridgeport, W.Va./Bridgeport
Jordan Piché, Kansas RP Jr. Greeley, Colo./Indian Hills CC
Jake Matthys, Kansas State RP Fr. Spring Lake Park, Minn./Spring Lake Park
Vince Wheeland, Oklahoma State RP Jr. Turlock, Calif./Turlock
ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM
Name, School Pos. Cl. Hometown/Previous School
Lawton Langford, Baylor^ INF Jr. Uvalde, Texas/Uvalde
Tanner Krietemeier, Oklahoma State INF Jr. Castle Rock, Colo./Nebraska
Jantzen Witte, TCU INF RSr. Arlington, Texas/Martin
Jake Barrios, Texas Tech INF Jr. Weatherford, Okla./Seward County CC
Ryan McBroom, West Virginia INF Jr. Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland
Victor Romero, Oklahoma State C Sr. Fairfield, Calif./Solano CC
Michael Suiter, Kansas OF So. Kailua, Hawaii/Mid Pacific Institute
Craig Aiken, Oklahoma OF Fr. Coppell, Texas/Coppell
Max White, Oklahoma OF Sr. Durant, Okla./Durant
Matt Frazer, West Virginia DH Jr. Alum Creek, W.Va./Nitro
Randy McCurry, Oklahoma State UTL Jr. Tupelo, Okla./Tupelo
Dillon Overton, Oklahoma SP Jr. Weatherford, Okla./Weatherford
Jason Hursh, Oklahoma State SP So. Carrollton, Texas/Trinity Christian
Dillon Peters, Texas SP So. Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral
Crayton Bare, Baylor RP Sr. Dallas, Texas/Highland Park
Jacob Evans, Oklahoma RP Fr. Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow
Alex Young, TCU RP Fr. Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Carmel Catholic
Due to ties in voting, three relief pitchers were named to the All-Big 12 First Team and three relief pitchers were named to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
* Unanimous Choice
^ 2012 First Team Honoree
+ 2012 Second Team Honoree
% 2011 Second Team Honoree
Baylor: Max Garner, RHP, Sr.; Jake Miller, INF, Sr.; Dillon Newman, RHP, Jr.; Grayson Porter, OF, So.
Kansas: Alex DeLeon, INF, Sr.; Kaiana Eldredge, C, Jr.; Kevin Kuntz, INF, Sr.; Justin Protacio, INF, So.; Dakota Smith, OF, So.; Thomas Taylor, RHP, Sr.
Kansas State: Jon Davis, OF, Sr.
Oklahoma: Anthony Hermelyn, C, Fr.; Jack Mayfield, INF, Sr.
Oklahoma State: Brendan McCurry, UTL, Jr.; Tyler Nurdin, LHP, So.; Mark Robinette, RHP, Jr.; Saulyer Saxon, OF, Jr.; Donnie Walton, INF, Fr.
TCU: Brandon Finnegan, LHP, So.; Paul Hendrix, INF, Jr.; Boomer White, OF, Fr.
Texas: Ty Marlow, INF/RHP, Jr.
Texas Tech: Jarrard Poteete, DH, Fr.; Trey Masek, Jr., RHP
West Virginia: Bobby Boyd, OF, So.; Billy Fleming, INF, So.; Alan Filauro, C, Sr.; Jacob Rice, OF, Jr.; Brady Wilson, OF, Sr.; Ryan Tuntland, INF, Jr.
Name, School Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Jake Matthys, Kansas State P Spring Lake Park, Minn./Spring Lake Park
Levi MaVorhis, Kansas State P Freeland, Wash./Archbishop Murphy
Craig Aiken, Oklahoma* OF Coppell, Texas/Coppell
Jacob Evans, Oklahoma P Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow
Ralph Garza, Jr., Oklahoma P New Braunfels, Texas/New Braunfels
Anthony Hermelyn, Oklahoma C McKinney, Texas/McKinney
Donnie Walton, Oklahoma State INF Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley
Riley Ferrell, TCU P College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated
Boomer White, TCU OF Houston, Texas/Memorial
Alex Young, TCU P Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Carmel Catholic
C.J Hinojosa, Texas* INF Spring, Texas/Klein Collins
Jarrard Poteete, Texas Tech DH Braggs, Okla./Hilldale