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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Brendan Jones’ rise to one of K-State baseball’s most impactful players

Junior outfielder Brendan Jones is in the midst of a career season
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Haylee Haslett
Outfielder Brenden Jones high-fives his teammates after scoring a run for the Wildcats. The Wildcats beat Holy Cross 5-4 on Feb. 24 as Jones scored two runs with two hits and three walks.

Leading the Big 12 at 6-1 and coming off 10 straight wins, Kansas State baseball had an impressive start to the 2024 campaign. K-State ranks No. 23 in the nation, and a contributing factor to the Wildcats’ success is outfielder Brendan Jones. 

A Tennessee native, Jones is far from home, but that doesn’t seem to bother him, as he’s been walked or gotten a hit in every game this year except one — and he scored in that game. Jones’ potential was noticeable, as he was All-Big 12 Honorable Mention last year with a .238 batting average. The year prior, Jones was a freshman getting very limited playing time. 

Now a junior, Jones posts a .315 batting average this season. Jones’ preparation before stepping up to bat involves not getting too caught up in his swing but thinking more about the pitch itself. 

“You don’t want to be thinking too much about the mechanics or anything with my swing,” Jones said. “You clear your mind and focus on driving the ball and hitting a pitch that you like.”  

Jones said head coach Pete Hughes emphasizes preparation in the season’s up and down moments. 

“Coach Hughes always likes to tell us that when you’re struggling and when you’re successful is when you really need to lock in to your preparation,” Jones said.

Jones is also consistent in his ability to steal bases. Last year he totaled 28, and so far this season he has 15. Jones not only credits his physical ability for this but also the coaches’ knowledge. 

“I think my speed definitely makes it a little bit easier,” Jones said. “The coaching staff does a good job scouting because they know every pitcher, the tendency of when they pitch, when they like to pick off, and so that helps me be successful.”

Although last season showed how much potential Jones possesses, when he reflected on it, he said he learned a lot from that season through struggles. 

“Just kind of learning through failure,” Jones said. “And I try not to let myself get too high or low, stay neutral, whether I had a good day or a bad day.” 

Jones has personal goals, but focuses more on team goals. Jones’ mind is on the team and their chances to make history for K-State baseball this season.

“If I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll accomplish a lot of my own goals,” Jones said. “But the biggest thing is me and the team are focused on being the first team in Kansas State history to get to Omaha.” 

The Wildcats dominated recently, winning 10 consecutive games after winning the first game of the Texas series. For the team to reach new heights, Jones must stay on the top of his game as he enters a new level of play.

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