2009 Kansas State Wildcats baseball team
|2009 Kansas State Wildcats baseball|
|Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|2009 record||43–18–1 (14–11–1 Big 12)|
|Head coach||Brad Hill|
|Hitting coach||Andy Sawyers|
|Pitching coach||Sean McCann|
|Home stadium||Tointon Family Stadium|
|2009 Big 12 Conference baseball standings|
|#2 Texas †‡y||17||–||9||.654||50||–||16||.758|
|#19 Oklahoma y||17||–||10||.630||43||–||20||.683|
|#22 Kansas State y||14||–||11||.560||43||–||18||.705|
|Texas A&M y||14||–||13||.519||37||–||24||.607|
|#27 Oklahoma State y||9||–||16||.360||34||–||24||.586|
|† – Conference champion
‡ – Tournament champion
y – Invited to the NCAA Tournament
As of June 30, 2009; Rankings from Collegiate Baseball
Kansas State made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The team finished the season by setting the school’s record for wins, eight more than the previous school record of 35 in 1976.
The Wildcats, who recorded the most conference victories and its highest conference finish (tied for sixth) since 2002, return five pitchers who combined for 21 starts last season. The Wildcats will have junior A.J. Morris and seniors Lance Hoge and Todd Vogel, while sophomore Thomas Rooke, who tied for fifth in school history with 25 appearances out of the bullpen last year, could be called upon to start some games this year for the Wildcats.
Offensively, K-State returns four of its top five hitters from a year ago, including junior infielder Justin Bloxom and senior outfielder Dane Yelovich. Bloxom led K-State in virtually every offensive category last season, including batting average (.288), hits (63), RBI (49), triples (2), total bases (105), total plate appearances (252), at bats (219), games played (58) and games started (57). Yelovich finished with a .286 average and stole 18 bases, good for fourth in the Big 12 Conference.
Alongside Bloxom in the infield is expected to be sophomore Carter Jurica at second base, converted outfielder Jason King at third, while senior Drew Biery will man shortstop for the second-consecutive year.
The outfield will feature Yelovich in center field, while fellow senior, Jordan Cruz, will return to right field after beginning the 2008 season as the starter. Left field will be a battle between junior Adam Muenster and true freshman Nick Martini. Muenster, who will be a switch-hitter this season, could also see time at second base.
Rob Vaughn, a two-year starter at catcher, returns for his senior campaign, while a pair of juniors, Daniel Dellasega and David Masters will also see playing time behind the plate.
Head Coach Brad Hill, in his sixth season at K-State, earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors as he guided Kansas State to a 39-win season, including 14 conference victories to finish fourth in the league, all school bests. The team also earned their highest ranking in school history as they were number 10 in the Baseball America Top 25 earlier in the season. A.J. Morris won Big 12 pitcher of year, the first Wildcat ever to do so. Morris finished the regular season as the Big 12 leader in both wins (12) and ERA (1.61). He was also first in innings pitched (100.2), third in opponent batting average (.203) and tied for fifth in strikeouts (91). Morris became the first player in school history to be named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy. Brad Hill became the first Kansas State coach since Mike Clark in 1990 to be named conference coach of the year.
Carter Jurica earned second-team accolades from the coaches after leading the conference’s top hitting team with a .366 average, which was third in the Big 12 individually. Jurica also finished the regular season third in stolen bases (21), fourth in hits (78), and fifth in both runs scored (57) and on-base percentage (.442). Seniors Drew Biery and Jordan Cruz, junior Justin Bloxom, sophomore Jason King and freshman Nick Martini were each named honorable mention All-Big 12.
Kansas State was tied for 12th nationally with 39 wins. Kansas State has recorded 136 steals this season, the second-most in school history. The Wildcats have recorded 20 triples this season, which are tops in the Big 12, and the most by a K-State team since 1997.
The Wildcats earned their first ever berth in the NCAA baseball Tournament. They competed in the Houston Regional, with Rice University playing host, at Reckling Park. The other teams were Rice, Xavier, and Sam Houston State. The lost the regional final against Rice.
Awards and honors
|A.J. Morris||Big 12 Pitcher of the Year|
|Brad Hill||Big 12 Coach of the Year|
|A.J. Morris||First Team All-American|
Wildcats in the 2009 MLB Draft
The following members of the 2009 Kansas State Wildcats baseball team were drafted in the 2009 MLB Draft.
|A.J. Morris||Pitcher||4th||112||Washington Nationals|
|Justin Bloxom||Left Field||11th||322||Washington Nationals|
|Drew Biery||Third Base||22nd||657||San Francisco Giants|
|Gerardo Esquivel*||Pitcher||24th||740||Chicago Cubs|
|Rob Vaughn||Catcher||30th||913||Chicago White Sox|
|Lance Hoge||Pitcher||36th||1,094||New York Mets|
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