Jan. 18, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Following a successful fall semester both on the field and in the classroom, the Kansas State baseball program handed out its post-fall awards at a team dinner Thursday night.
The Wildcats made strides on the field by acclimating 19 newcomers to the program, in the weight room as multiple players improved their 60-yard dash times and in the classroom by having 19 players named to the fall Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Junior catcher Blair DeBord took home the most coveted award as he was the recipient of the second-annual Mike Clark Award, named in honor of the former K-State head coach and current Senior Director of Development. Clark, who coached Kansas State from 1987-2003, is the winningest coach in program history with 435 victories. The honor is awarded to the player that best represents what it means to be a Wildcat on and off the field and is the best representative of the program and university in everything he does.
DeBord, in his fourth year in the program, played in 50 games last season, including 25 starts at catcher. He hit .257 with eight doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI, but was solid behind the plate as he did not commit a single error in 208 fielding chances while calling his own game towards the end of the year.
Freshman outfielder Clayton Dalrymple took home a pair of honors by being named the Hustle Award and Wildcat Award winner. The Hustle Award goes to the player that demonstrates the highest motor in practice, the weight room, in conditioning or in a game, while the Wildcat Award honors the player that finished with the most points during the overall fall Wildcat Cup competition. Dalrymple was a four-year player at Coppell High School, holding a career batting average of .333 with four triples, while he was a perfect 14-of-14 in steals.
The Most Improved Position Player and Pitcher awards went to a pair of freshmen in infielder Jake Wodtke and right-hander Jordan Witcig. Wodtke, a product of Shawnee, Kan., prepped at St. James Academy and was named a second team all-state shortstop while being selected to play in the 2012 Kansas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game. Wodtke hit .328 with a .477 on-base percentage as a senior, leading his team to a state championship.
Witcig lettered two years at Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo. An all-conference and all-state honoree as a senior, Witcig led the Falcons to a conference championship during his junior season.
Sophomore first baseman Shane Conlon picked up the Gold Glove Award by being the best defensive player on the squad throughout the fall. A two-way player as a freshman in 2011, Conlon was solely a left-handed pitcher in 2012 before an injury cut his season short. The Naperville, Ill., product, who played in 31 games as a position player during his freshman season, was granted a medical redshirt for last season.
The Wildcat Ironman Award for the pitcher and position player that showed the most improvement in the weight room went to senior right-hander Jake Doller and junior infielder RJ Santigate. Doller, who has seen time in 50 career games, is coming off a season in which he went 1-1 with one save in 18 appearances, including two outings with a career-high five strikeouts. Santigate, a former transfer from Central Arizona College, played in 50 games last year with 30 starts. The Las Vegas, Nev., native started the final 12 games at third base and led the team with a .324 batting average during that stretch before being named the 10th-best prospect in the Texas Collegiate League by Baseball America this summer.
All awards winners were selected by their fellow teammates except for the Ironman Award, which is selected by Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Fleming and the rest of the coaching staff.
Kansas State will begin full-squad practices in preparations for the 2013 season on January 25. Season tickets for the 31-game home schedule are on sale through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office for as little as $75, an average of $2.42 per game. The schedule features a 19-game homestand to begin the month of March and nine games against teams that earned a NCAA Regional berth in 2012.
The most convenient way to order tickets is online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, but they can also be purchased by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or in person at the ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State Baseball First Semester Awards
Mike Clark Award: Blair DeBord
Hustle Award: Clayton Dalrymple
Wildcat Award: Clayton Dalrymple
Most Improved Position Player: Jake Wodtke
Most Improved Pitcher: Jordan Witcig
Gold Glove Award: Shane Conlon
Wildcat Ironman Award (Position Player): RJ Santigate
Wildcat Ironman Award (Pitcher): Jake Doller