Martini Leads Six Wildcats Named All-Big 12

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Kansas State sophomore outfielder Nick Martini headlined six Wildcats earning accolades from the Big 12 baseball coaches as the conference announced its postseason awards and All-Big 12 teams Tuesday at the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.

Martini was named the league's co-Player of the Year, the first time a Wildcat had received the honor since Craig Wilson in 1992. It was K-State's third specialty award in the past two years after A.J. Morris was named Pitcher of the Year and Brad Hill as Coach of the Year in 2009.

"I really appreciate this award because there are so many good players in this league," said Martini, who shared the Player of the Year award with Missouri's Aaron Seene. "I want to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me become a better player through their work and play on the field."

Martini finished the regular-season as the Big 12's leading hitter with a .420 average. Heading into this week's tournament, the mark ranks seventh in Big 12 history and third in school history. The Crystal Lake, Ill., product was even better against Big 12 opponents as he hit .433 in 26 conference games to tie for eighth-best in Big 12 history.

Martini also ranks highly in several other Big 12 statistics, topping the league in overall on-base percentage (.512), tied for second in triples (4), fourth in hits (87), and seventh in both steals (19) and walks (26).

Martini was one of three Wildcats to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors as he was joined on the squad by senior third baseman Adam Muenster and junior shortstop Carter Jurica. It was the most first-team members for Kansas State since the Wildcats placed three on the All-Big Eight team in 1995.

In his first season at third base, Muenster had the most productive season of his career as he led the league in conference games with a batting average of .434. That was the fifth-best average in Big 12 history and the highest since 2001. He currently ranks fourth in the Big 12 in overall batting average at .393 heading into tournament play.

Muenster, who is tied for second in the Big 12 with 88 hits this season, led the league with 46 hits against conference competition. The Omaha, Neb., native also finished the regular-season third in both runs scored (61) and steals (22), fourth in on-base percentage (.483), sixth in doubles (18) and tied for eighth in walks (35).

Jurica finished the year on a tear, hitting six home runs over the final 12 games. The shortstop completed the regular-season 10th in the Big 12 in batting average (.336) as K-State tallied more players in the conference's top 10 than any other team.

Jurica, a product of Katy, Texas, is currently second in the Big 12 in RBI (65), fifth in total bases (133), tied for sixth in triples (3), seventh in both steals (18) and slugging percentage (.624), and tied for 10th in home runs (11).

Sophomore pitcher Evan Marshall was named to the second team. He has been stellar for the Wildcats since making a switch from starter to reliever midway through the season. Marshall is 5-3 with a 3.76 ERA this season, but holds a 1.82 ERA in 17 relief appearances since moving to the bullpen. In 34.2 innings as a relief pitcher, Marshall is limiting opponents to a .165 batting average, including a .162 mark in Big 12 play.

Senior catcher Daniel Dellasega and sophomore pitcher Kyle Hunter were named honorable mention All-Big 12. Coupled with the seven All-Big 12 honorees last season, the 13 Wildcats to earn All-Big 12 honors over the last two seasons are the most in a two-year span since 2001-02.

The third-seeded Wildcats will begin Pool 2 play at the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship against No. 6 seed Baylor at 4 p.m., Wednesday at Bricktown Ballpark. After an off day on Thursday, the Cats will then face No. 7 seed Kansas at 3 p.m., on Friday. Kansas State takes on second-seeded Oklahoma at 4 p.m., on Saturday to conclude pool play. The winners of Pool 1 and Pool 2 will meet in the championship game at 1 p.m., Sunday on FSN.