MANHATTAN, Kan. – With the signing deadline for Major League Baseball draftees expiring Friday afternoon, infielders Ross Kivett and Shane Conlon have elected to return to Kansas State for the 2014 season.
Kivett, the 2013 Big 12 Player of the Year, was drafted in the 10th round by the Cleveland Indians, while Conlon was selected in the 21st round by the Kansas City Royals. Each earned All-Big 12 First Team honors, while Kivett was an All-American by multiple publications.
“Ross and Shane have shown loyalty and commitment to K-State Baseball and their education throughout their careers, and that is evidenced by the fact that they decided to return,” head coach Brad Hill said. “The leadership they provided last year was key to our success. They have the desire and drive to help lead this program to its first appearance in the College World Series, and we are happy to welcome them back in 2014.”
“This was a difficult decision to make since I have been an Indians fan my entire life,” Kivett, a native of Broadview Heights, Ohio, said. “The one thing I kept coming back to was the fun I’ve had at K-State throughout my career and the success we experienced last season. I want to return for my senior year to help the program reach the College World Series.”
Kivett, who hit .360 with three home runs and 39 RBI in 2013, is currently playing summer baseball for the Orleans Firebirds of the prestigious Cape Cod League.
“Although it was an honor to be drafted by Kansas City – the hometown team – it was an easy decision to come back to K-State,” Conlon said. “As a junior, I have two more years to showcase my talents, but more importantly I want to be able to help K-State reach new heights and exceed last year’s performance.”
Conlon, who is playing for the Topeka Golden Giants this summer, hit .341 with seven home runs and 28 RBI as a redshirt sophomore.
In addition to Kivett and Conlon, incoming freshmen Jordan Floyd and Tyler Stover did not sign with their respective MLB clubs. Floyd, a left-handed pitcher from Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kan., was drafted in the 25th round by the New York Yankees. Stover, an infielder from Vacaville High School in California, was selected by Colorado in the 40th round.
Kansas State put together perhaps its best season of baseball in school history in 2013. The Wildcats won a school-record 45 games and captured the program’s first regular-season conference championship in 80 years with a thrilling series-opening victory over No. 19 Oklahoma. K-State went on to host its first NCAA Regional and went 3-0 with wins over in-state rival Wichita State, No. 30 Bryant and No. 12 Arkansas.
Playing in its first-ever Super Regional, K-State opened the series at No. 3 Oregon State with a come-from-behind 6-2 victory in 10 innings but fell one victory shy of reaching the College World Series.
– k-statesports.com –