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King continues to shine at UVA

king 3By DAVID GRAVELY

     In 2008, Jared King was a man on a mission at Pulaski County High School.  He spent his falls playing golf for the Cougar golf team.  Wintertime meant time spent on the hardwoods as a member of the Cougar basketball team.  Spring time was in the dirt and grass as a member of the Cougar baseball team.  At the end, King decided to take advantage of his baseball skills to move to the next level, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Jared finished his high school career as a three-time member of the All-River Ridge District first team baseball squad.  He was also selected to the Region 4 first team his junior and senior year, and second team All-State his senior season.  You can also add in that he was selected first team in basketball three times, and to the All-Region first team twice.  He found a way to letter in golf twice, by the way.

His freshman season went as expected, getting the chance to play sparingly as he came into a senior laden team with tons of experience.  He played first, second, and third base that year for the Cavaliers.  He hit his first career double against Towson, which was good for two RBI’s.  In the first game of the Boston College series that season, he hit a two-run double as a pinch hitter.  King also had two RBI’s against Florida State, and played a very strong game against George Washington, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI’s.  That summer, he played for the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, where he had ten RBI’s in 25 games.

His first setback came after that summer season, when he had to have off-season shoulder surgery.    Despite his wishes to continue, Jared was forced to sit out the 2010 season.  Determined to shine, King came back with a vengeance.

In the 2011 season, Jared King started 38 of the last 40 games for UVA.  He made 54 appearances all together, and started 46 games total.  He quickly took over first base, and on March 19 he hit his first ever NCAA home run in game two of the series with Florida State.  It was a walk-off shot in the bottom of the 11th inning.  Against VCU he scored a career high four runs, earning three hits.  He earned a walk and scored a run in the win over Radford on April 5, and then on April 19 he posted three hits against the Highlanders.  He finished the 2011 season with a .321 batting average, with 53 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, and two home runs.  He had 29 RBI’s, and stole five bases.  He added a .988 fielding percentage to lock in his spot in the lineup.

The 2012 season was, without question, his best by far.  Jared started all 59 of the Cavaliers games at first base, extending his streak to 81 games dating back to the 2011 season.  He had 15 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games.  He picked up 51 walks, the third most in program history for a season.  That was also good enough for the fifth best in ACC history, and he also bad the 13th best on base percentage in ACC history at .416.  He was tied for 8th place in the ACC for triples with eight, and led his team with 13 stolen bases.  Jared added 54 total hits, 12 doubles, four home runs, 41 runs scored, and 51 walks, along with improving his fielding percentage to .992 percent.

King is off to a strong start in 2013 as well.  He has continued to start at first base for the Cavs, and so far this season he has put together six hits, five runs, two doubles, and two RBI’s.  With a strong work ethic and desire to win, Jared King has made Pulaski County proud.

To keep up with Jared King and the rest of the UVA baseball team, visit www.virginiasports.com.