Five baseball Jayhawks named to All-Big 12 teams
OKLAHOMA CITY – In preparation for the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, the league office announced Tuesday that five different Kansas baseball players garnered All-Big 12 recognition for their performances throughout the season.
Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn garnered All-Big 12 First Team distinction, becoming just the third starting pitcher in the program history to earn that honor. He joined the ranks of Frank Duncan (2014) and Ben Krauth (2016), who also earned first-team nods.
Zeferjahn paced the Jayhawks with his second-straight 100-plus strikeout season to become the first player in 129 seasons of Kansas baseball to post two or more 100-strikeout campaigns, doing it in consecutive years. He finished the regular season with 101 K’s, including 60 during conference play, to rank third amongst starters in the Big 12.
His 254-career strikeouts rank him third all-time in the KU record book behind Frank Duncan (269) and T.J. Walz (307), both of whom boasted four-year careers.
Zeferjahn ranked third in the Big 12 in strikeouts (101), second in opponent batting average (.182), and top-10 in earned-run average (3.38) and innings pitched (82.2).
"I am absolutely thrilled for Ryan. He had a great year and the coaches in our league recognized it and rewarded him. To have back-to-back 100-strikeout seasons is absolutely impressive. -Head Coach Ritch Price"
Zeferjahn’s first-team honor is the first for Kansas since 2017, when then-senior closer Stephen Villines earned the distinction; and it is the sixth for the Jayhawks in the last seven years. He is also the 14th player ever to earn the recognition.
Four other players donned honors from the conference, highlighted by junior shortstop Benjamin Sems with second team honors. Redshirt-junior righty Ryan Cyr, junior catcher Jaxx Groshans and senior center fielder Rudy Karre also were recognized with All-Big 12 Honorable Mention nods.
“Benjamin is one of the best defensive players in the nation,” Price said. “He has come a long way with the bat and has proved to be one of the better offensive players on our club. But we didn’t get here because of individual efforts. We got here because of a combined team effort. We grinded and competed each and every weekend, and these five guys were a big part of that.”
Kansas opens up the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship Wednesday, May 22, as the No. 5 seed and will play the No. 4 seed in West Virginia at 9 a.m. Fans can watch the game live on Fox College Sports or tune into the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio for an audio broadcast.