From K-State Athletics
K-State starting pitcher Jordan Wicks was tabbed 2019 Big 12 Freshman of the Year in addition to earning a spot on the All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Freshman Team, as six Wildcats earned all-conference accolades, the league office announced Tuesday.
Griffin Hassall joined Wicks on the All-Freshman Team while Zach Kokoska, Caleb Littlejim, Terrence Spurlin and Cameron Thompson were each selected as Honorable Mention.
Wicks becomes just the second Wildcat to earn Freshman of the Year honors, joining pitcher Jake Matthys in 2013. In his initial campaign, Wicks posted a 6-2 record and led all Big 12 freshmen with a 3.20 earned run average while striking out 82 in 81 2/3 innings with just 24 walks allowed.
A product of Conway, Arkansas, Wicks broke K-State’s single-season records in innings pitched and strikeouts by a freshman, which were both set by Andy Replogle back in 1973. The 6-foot left-hander was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on April 15 after tossing a five-hit shutout at Texas to help secure the Cats’ first-ever shutout of the Longhorns and clinch a road series over a top-25 team for the second time ever.
Wicks was a unanimous pick to the All-Freshman Team, joined by fellow starting pitcher Hassall. Hassall made 10 starts – nine coming in series-openers – and registered a 4.25 ERA with 35 strikeouts. On April 22, Hassall was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after a career-long 7 2/3 innings with one run allowed in a 7-4 win over No. 19 TCU.
Hassall’s victory over the Horned Frogs was the second in back-to-back victories over top-25 teams. The Canadian righty threw five innings of one-hit baseball in a 6-4 win over No. 14 Texas On April 12. In the two top-25 victories, Hassall combined to yield just two earned runs on four hits over 12 2/3 innings.
Hassall and Wicks become the third set of Wildcat teammates to be selected to the All-Freshman Team, which began in 2011.
Kokoska, a sophomore transfer in his first season with K-State, earned honorable mention accolades after leading the Cats in all three slash categories during the regular season (.329/.409/.514). The Latrobe, Pennsylvania, native hit seven home runs and drove in 30 runs. Earlier this season, Kokoska had a team-long 12-game hitting streak and led the Cats with a .338 average in conference games.
Littlejim earned his first Big 12 Honorable Mention honor in his junior season. A two-way player, Littlejim hit six home runs and was second on the team with 33 RBI in his first season playing the field. The Little Axe, Oklahoma, native had a team-best 12 multi-RBI games and was the team leader in two-out RBI with 21.
On the mound, Littlejim went 5-3 in seven starts (16 appearances) with a 4.89 ERA. Littlejim made four straight weekend starts to end the regular season, going a career-long 6 2/3 innings against West Virginia on May 10.
Spurlin, a sophomore, started 50 games at first base after not starting a single game his freshman season. Spurlin boasted a slash line of .278/.335/.466 with seven homer and 32 runs batted in. Spurlin, a product of Cypress, Texas, was named Big 12 Player of the Week on May 13 after his first career two-homer game against the Mountaineers.
Thompson, a junior who earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors in 2017, has started all 165 games in his Wildcat career. The Pasadena, Texas, native has a career-high five home runs while registering a team-best 19 multi-hit games this season. Thompson owns a slash line of .270/.306/.401 in 2019.