Four Baseball Jayhawks Named to Academic All-Big 12 Team

May 16, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Four Kansas Jayhawks were among the student-athletes named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Team as announced by the league office Thursday.

Wes Benjamin, Tanner Poppe and Colin Toalson were selected as Academic All-Big 12 First Team honorees while Michael Suiter was tabbed to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team.

“I’m really proud of their performance in the classroom,” Kansas head coach Ritch Price said of the Kansas honorees. “One of our missions is to prepare kids to be successful in life and our academic services – Glenn Quick, who specifically oversees the baseball program – are world class. I thank everyone who’s helped them be successful in the classroom. Obviously, these young me have put in the effort it takes to be successful, not only on the field but in the classroom.

“I’d also like to thank our tutors as well because our academic support staff at KU is as good as any place in the country. To have these four guys on the Academic All-Big 12 team speaks volumes not only to the student-athletes in our program, but to our academic services at the University of Kansas.”

Benjamin, a sophomore from St. Charles, Ill., leads the Jayhawk pitching staff with 13 starts and two complete games and earned Academic All-Big 12 status in his first season eligible – honorees must be regular contributors and have been at an institution for a full year. The exercise science major has posted a 4-5 record with a 4.10 ERA and struck out seven K-State hitters in six innings Saturday.

Poppe, a senior majoring in exercise science, earned his third Academic All-Big 12 honor. The Girard, Kan., native has posted a 4-3 record in 11 appearances, including nine starts. Poppe has been one of Kansas’ most effective pitchers over the last several weeks, scattering three earned runs over his last 16 innings including a one-hit, combined shutout against Baker to open the month of May.

Toalson, a sophomore from Lawrence, Kan., also claimed his first league honor. The mechanical engineering major has limited opposing batters to a .173 average in 12 relief appearances and earned his first win of the season in the Saturday game of KU’s first ever sweep of Baylor.

Suiter, a sophomore outfielder from Kailua, Hawaii, was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team. A psychology major, Suiter leads the Jayhawks with 61 base hits and has swiped a team-high 17 bases. Suiter is third among Jayhawks with a .313 batting average and has scored a team-high 36 runs.

To be named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA at 3.20 or greater, while Second Team honors go to student-athletes who have GPAs between 3.00 and 3.19.

Kansas concludes the regular season with a non-conference series at Utah in Salt Lake City, starting at 1 p.m. (CT) Saturday. The Jayhawks and Utes will play at 7:30 p.m. Sunday before closing the series on Monday at 1 p.m., then flying to Oklahoma City to prepare for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark (May 22-26). The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.