SE: K-State Sports Extra Q&A: Levi MaVorhis
Every month, a new student-athlete is featured through the K-State Sports Extra Q&A. This month, K-State Sports Extra sat down with Wildcat baseball senior Levi MaVorhis to talk baseball, his time at K-State and more.
Among the top pitchers for the Wildcats, MaVorhis leads K-State this season with a 4-3 record on the mound and a team-best 49 strikeouts to go along with a 3.91 ERA. With his win last Saturday at West Virginia, he moved into a tie for fifth place in K-State history in career victories.
A native of Freeland, Washington, MaVorhis came to K-State in the fall of 2012 and was quick to make an impact. During his freshman season of 2013, MaVorhis was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team after going 5-0 with a 4.77 ERA. He pitched in 23 games and earned six starts as a rookie, helping K-State to Big 12 and Regional titles on its way to a school-record 45 wins overall.
His sophomore season, MaVorhis was the Wildcats’ Friday night starter and went 6-7 with a 3.95 ERA. Though an injury shortened his junior season to just 10 appearances, after a long summer and fall of rehab and recovery, MaVorhis returned to the mound just in time this season to close his Wildcat career on a high note.
Here’s a look at what he had to say:
Sports Extra: How long have you been playing baseball?
Levi MaVorhis: I’ve been playing baseball for as long as I can remember. My dad used to play catch with me in the house – my mom didn’t like that too much – but that’s how I got started. My grandpa played, so it was always something that I knew I’d love to do.
SE: What does the game mean to you?
LM: It means everything. You can learn so much through the game of baseball. Obviously you learn competition, comradery, but you also how to deal with failure; it’s such a big part of life in general. It forces you to flush the bad and learn from the good, then move on to the next game. That’s what baseball has taught me. It’s been a big part of my life.
SE: When did you realize you wanted to play collegiately?
LM: I always kind of knew. I’ve always told myself I’m going to play until they make me take off the jersey. I didn’t know I was going to go to K-State out of high school – I honestly had no idea where Kansas State was. I was planning on playing junior college ball because I hadn’t gotten any looks, but after my senior year I came out here for a summer tournament and I guess that’s where the coaches saw me. I got a call a week later from the pitching coach at the time, Josh Reynolds, and two weeks later I was out in Manhattan, Kansas. It’s been a blast since then.
SE: What was it about K-State that made you want to come here?
LM: The people. I’ve never been anywhere where the people are so friendly and open. If you’re out west, people don’t know where Manhattan, Kansas, is, but once you do come out here you understand why people speak so highly of it. It’s amazing.
SE: You’re one of only a few players on this year’s team who has been here for four years. With that experience, have you felt that you’ve taken on more of a leadership role this season?
LM: Yeah, everybody that’s been here, us older guys, I think it’s everybody’s job to help the young guys. When you come in as a freshman, you don’t know what to expect. The game goes so fast, and you’re kind of just flying by the seat of your pants, so you need somebody there when you’re a young guy.
SE: Have you enjoyed being in that role and being in the position to help the younger guys on the team?
LM: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s been a blast to see kids come in unsure of themselves then have success. I think that’s the best part, for me, to see kids that succeed so well. It’s just fun to see them grow and grow into big parts of the team.
SE: Coming off of injury, how nice has it been to be back on the mound this year?
LM: It’s been indescribable. Especially with the injury that I had; we had two other pitchers that I’ve pitched with have that same injury. Colton Kalmus (2013-2015) got it twice and at the time that it happened to him, it was a really hard thing for him to come back from, luckily he was able to come back. Then, Blake McFadden (2013-14) had it too, but he wasn’t able to come back. So when you think about the injury, you think, ‘It’s going to be no big deal,’ but there was kind of a thought in my brain where I didn’t know. I could have been done. So when I was able to get back pitching pain free, that’s a hard feeling to describe.
SE: Looking back at your career at K-State, what have been some of the biggest highlights for you?
LM: The Big 12 Championship (2013), obviously, that was a blast, and the Super Regional, but honestly, each season has its own moments for me. Last year, that TCU weekend, seeing us, a team that everybody picked dead last in the conference, to come back and be a team that beats the (No. 3) team in the nation. It was fun to see those things happen because it shows in baseball, if you’re a better team, you may not have the most talent, but you can beat anybody.
SE: Finally, what is the best part about being a student-athlete at K-State?
LM: The people you meet. The overall experience that you have is one of a kind. I’m so glad I ended up coming here. It’s been a blast to not only meet my teammates, but also all the other student-athletes too. The opportunities we have, you don’t realize how lucky you are until you leave. Going to football games, just everything, it’s just quite an experience.
Following a weekend trip to West Virginia where the Wildcats won two of three over the Mountaineers, K-State (16-20, 3-9 Big 12) will return to Tointon Family Stadium tonight as the team is set to host Nebraska (22-14, 7-5 Big Ten) at 6:35 p.m.
Tickets for tonight’s game are available through the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or can be purchased before the game at the main gate of Tointon Family Stadium. For more information on tonight’s matchup, please click here.