Kansas baseball handed out its end-of-the-year awards after the final regular season game.
May 19, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Following the regular-season finale against Missouri, Kansas baseball hosted an end-of-the-year ceremony in the Naismith Room of Allen Fieldhouse to recognize the senior class and hand out several team awards.
All eight members of the senior class - Jason Brunansky, Zac Elgie, Taylor Hart, Matt Kohorst, Jordan Jakubov, Chris Manship, Jake Marasco and James Stanfield - individually addressed the crowd to reflect on their time at KU and thank the many people who helped them throughout their careers.
Kansas head coach Ritch Price then handed out the team awards for the 2012 season, including the Jayhawk Trophy Pitcher of the Year Award and the Gib Francis MVP Award, which were both determined by a player vote.
Sophomore Frank Duncan received Pitcher of the Year honors after being the team's Friday night starter throughout the season and posting a 2.81 ERA along with a team-high 92 strikeouts, which is currently tied for seventh on KU's all-time single-season list. Duncan capped off his regular season with a complete-game shutout against Missouri as part of a series victory against the Tigers that clinched the Jayhawks a spot in the Big 12 Championship.
Catcher James Stanfield took home the Gib Francis MVP Award after leading the team with a .292 batting average for the year, which included six doubles and 15 RBIs as well as a team-best .319 average in Big 12 play. Stanfield also threw out 36.3 percent of attempted base stealers and picked off one other runner during the year.
Four freshmen claimed prominent awards at the ceremony, including Wes Benjamin, who earned the Bob Allison Rookie of the Year Award after posting a 3.68 ERA and pitching a complete-game shutout against Kansas State as KU's Saturday-night starter. Robert Kahana won the Jimmy Walker Fireman Award as the Jayhawks' best reliever, while Joe Moroney won the Mike Hill, Sr., Hustle Award and Joey Luvisi claimed the Millard G. Jantz Academic Newcomer Award.
Jakubov, Manship and Marasco received the Gary Padgett Team Captain Award, while Elgie won the Jeff Niemeier Big Stick Award for having the team's best slugging percentage. Sophomore Tucker Tharp garnered recognition as both the Tom Hedrick Most Improved Player and one of two Walt Houk Newcomers of the Year, with junior Jordan Dreiling earning the other Houk Award. Junior shortstop Kevin Kuntz won the John Trombold Golden Glove Award, and junior relief pitcher Tanner Poppe took home the Forrest Hoglund Student-Athlete Award.
Coach Price also handed out Ron MacDonald Coaches Awards to junior Thomas Taylor along with seniors Kohorst and Jakubov to recognize their success throughout the year in filling needed roles.
Kansas will play Texas A&M Wednesday, May 23, at 4 p.m. in the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.