Nine Wildcats Earn All-Big 12 Honors

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State’s Brady Day was voted to the All-Big 12 First Team while Kaelen Culpepper and Tyson Neighbors received Second Team honors to highlight the Wildcats’ nine total selections, as the Big 12 Conference revealed its 2024 All-Big 12 Baseball Awards Monday.

Additionally, Owen BoeremaNick EnglishBrendan JonesRaphael Pelletier, and Jackson Wentworth each received honorable mention accolades while Blake Dean was named to the All-Freshman Team, as the awards were voted on by the league’s 13 head coaches.

The Wildcats’ nine selections match the program record that was set in 2013, while K-State was one of five schools from the Big 12 to have nine or more players receive All-Big 12 honors.

Day, voted as an infielder, takes home his first all-conference first-team honor. The Hampstead, N.H., product has put together a slash line of .333/.444/.539 to go with a team-leading 51 runs batted in, which is seventh in the league. Day’s .311 average in Big 12 contests leads the Wildcats’ offense, while his career-best eight home runs this season is second on the team.

On the year, the Golden Spikes Midseason Watch List honoree has turned in a team-leading 21 multi-hit efforts along with 16 games with multiple runs driven in, while he also became the first player since 2022 to produce a 15-game hitting streak (18).

In his junior campaign, Culpepper leads K-State with his .540 slugging percentage, that includes 12 doubles, five triples and a team-high nine home runs. The All-American’s five triples lead the Big 12 Conference while four of his nine home runs this season have come in conference games.

Culpepper has started in all 50 games, as the Cats starting shortstop’s season slash line sits at .310/.406/.540 along with 47 runs batted in. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, the All-American has registered 20 multi-hit games along with 10 games with multiple RBI.

Neighbors earned All-Big 12 honors for the second consecutive year, as he leads the pitching staff with a 2.97 ERA and eight saves. Since returning from an injury that sat him out 30 games, Neighbors boasts a 1.93 ERA (28 IP, 6 ER).

In his last eight outings, he has tossed 12 1/3 shutout innings and has surrendered just one run on six hits. With 19 career saves, Neighbors stands alone at third all-time in K-State history, while his eight saves on the year ties eighth in the single-season records.

Blake Dean becomes the fifth Wildcat to be named to the All-Freshman Team under Pete Hughes, as he has made a team-leading 25 appearances with three starts on the mound. With a record of 4-3 and with one save, the Acworth, Ga., product has registered a 4.33 ERA with 58 strikeouts.

Boerema collected Big 12 accolades for the second straight year, as the lefty has struck out 89 batters this season which is sixth in the Big 12. The Litchfield, Minn., native is 5-3 on the hill and is one of nine pitchers to strikeout out 11-plus batters in a single contest this season. Boerema has compiled 184 strikeouts in his two seasons with K-State, ranking eighth all-time in school history.

In his first season with K-State, English is slashing .257/.344/.377 with 35 runs batted in and 26 runs scored. The true freshman from Olathe, Kan., has driven the game-winning run on four occasions, including a two-run single against rival KU to capture the series win. English’s 17 doubles match the freshman class single-season record set by current Major Leaguer Nick Martini in 2009.

A year after hitting .238, Jones, a product of Greenbrier, Tenn., has turned in a slash line of .301/.438/.481 with seven home runs. Jones leads the Big 12 and is fifth in the nation with 37 stolen bases and has been issued a league-high 48 walks with a team-high 58 runs. With 37 stolen bases on the year, Jones is third in the single-season records while his 67 career stolen bases in third all-time. He is 11 career steals away from tying second all-time alongside Adam Muenster (2007-10).

Pelletier, a member of the Buster Posey Catcher of the Year Watch List, received honorable mention for the second consecutive season. The Mascouche, Quebec product has caught 11 runners stealing this season which ranks fourth in the Big 12. Pelletier has started in 49 games behind the plate this season while producing six doubles and team-leading nine home runs.

Wentworth has had a breakout season for the pitching staff and earns his first career Big 12 postseason honor, as he boasts an ERA of 3.69 and has a record of 4-4 with six saves this year. A native of Urbandale, Iowa, Wentworth punched out a career-high 11 batters in the Wildcats’ victory over BYU, including striking out the side in the first and sixth.

He was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on April 22, after he combined for nine innings of three-hit, one run ball over three appearances. Earlier this season, Wentworth helped turn in the ninth no-hitter in K-State’s 124-year baseball history, shutting out Cincinnati 4-0. The Cats went on to win the series, marking the first opening Big 12 series victory since 2013.

Now with 100 strikeouts on the season, Wentworth ties second in the K-State single-season records and is 18 away from tying current Major Leaguer Jordan Wicks’ school record set in 2021 (118).

K-State heads into the 2024 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship as the No. 6 seed and will meet seventh-seeded KU on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The tournament can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the ESPN app with select games broadcasted on ESPNU, while radio coverage will be carried on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM). A free live streaming audio available for all games at and on the K-State Sports app.

All-Big 12 First Team
IF: Brady Day, Kansas State

All-Big 12 Second Team
IF: Kaelen Culpepper, Kansas State
RP: Tyson Neighbors, Kansas State

Honorable Mention
Kansas State: Owen BoeremaNick EnglishBrendan JonesRaphael PelletierJackson Wentworth

All-Freshman Team
Blake Dean, Kansas State

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