MANHATTAN, Kan. – Led by juniors Jared King and RJ Santigate on the first team, Kansas State placed six players on the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 teams as the conference office released its list of 57 student-athletes who earned academic honors on Thursday.
Four of the six players picked up the academic all-conference accolade for the first time in their careers, including Santigate. Three first-time members of the list were on the second team, which included seniors Jake Doller and Tanner Witt, and juniors Ross Kivett and Jared Moore.
Kansas State’s six selections are the second-most in school history, just one shy of the 2003, 2010 and 2012 squads. In head coach Brad Hill’s 10 seasons at Kansas State, the Wildcats have collected 53 academic all-conference honors, including 36 first-team designations.
King, who also picked up first-team accolades in 2012, holds a 3.522 GPA in entrepreneurship. On the field, the Dublin, Ohio, product is hitting .333 with 13 doubles, two triples, six home runs and a team-leading 44 RBI. A preseason candidate for the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top player, King is one extra-base hit and one home run away from tying for 10th on the school’s career list in each category.
A social sciences major from Las Vegas, Nev., Santigate garnered academic all-conference accolades the first year he is eligible for the list. The transfer from Central Arizona College was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 team last week and is now in the running for Academic All-America honors. A 48-game starter in 2013, Santigate is hitting .335 to rank 10th in the Big 12 to go along with 27 RBI.
Witt earned Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second-straight season, while Doller, Kivett and Moore are first-time recipients. Witt, a management major and candidate for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, is hitting .325 as the everyday left fielder and holds a 3.18 ERA with seven saves in 17 appearances on the mound.
A social sciences major, Doller holds a 2-2 record and a 2.95 ERA in 11 outings, including eight starts. Kivett ranks second on the team and fifth in the Big 12 with a .354 batting average, while the communications major paces the team with 22 steals. A marketing major, Moore holds a 3-0 record and a 2.81 ERA in 17 relief appearances.
Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services, the Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Team consists of first-team members who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher – either cumulative or the two previous semesters – and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests (20 percent for pitchers). Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence.
No. 18 Kansas State hosts the 19th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in a three-game series this weekend at Tointon Family Stadium. The Friday and Saturday contests each begin at 6:30 p.m., while the regular-season finale is slated for 1 p.m., on Sunday.
Friday is “Mustache Night” as the first 2,000 fans will receive a free stick-on mustache. In addition, season-ticket holders and those with a graduation program can receive a general admission bench ticket for $3. The same ticket promotion for graduation applies on Saturday, while Sunday is Senior Day and a Family Day with Wildcat 4 Packs available for $30. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or in person at either the main ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum or at the stadium box office beginning one hour prior to first pitch.
Friday’s series-opener will be televised throughout the state on Cox Communication’s Kansas 22 and in the Kansas City area on MetroSports. K-StateHD.TV on Fox Sports will produce the final two games that will air on Fox College Sports Central. Radio coverage from the K-State Sports Network will begin at 6 p.m., on Friday, while SportsRadio 1350 KMAN will carry the final two games. Free live audio of the entire series is also available online at www.k-statesports.com.