‘2K’ Knudsen mows down opposing hitters

By Kat Frazier
Sports Editor

Knudsen with teammate Joey Underwood / photo by Kat Frazier
Knudsen with teammate Joey Underwood / photo by Kat Frazier

Senior right-handed pitcher Kenny Knudsen has been making strides all season. He has spent most of the season ranked number one in Division 1 NAIA baseball for wins (10-1 at press time) and broke Head Baseball Coach’s Taylor Hasty’s strikeout record with 218.

Knudsen has played many key roles for the Bryan College pitching staff over his four years here. He started as a relief/setup pitcher his freshman year, earning him the Appalachian Athletic Conference award for Freshman of the Year. He also played the role as the Lions’ closer for the 2014 Conference Championship team.

Knudsen, who is a Atlanta Braves fan, grew up in Sugar Hill, Georgia, as the oldest of four. His family has always been athletic and very supportive of each other.

“My brothers (Kyler and Kevin) are my best friends and my sister (Kelsea) is one of my biggest supporters. Mom (Shelley) and dad (Steve) have always been there for me and helped me along my journey as a man and ball player.”

Knudsen pitching as a child and in college / photo courtesy of Kenny Knudsen
Knudsen pitching as a child and in college / photo courtesy of Kenny Knudsen

Knudsen started playing baseball 16 years ago. In high school he was a utility guy, but mainly an outfielder. During this time, he developed his on superstition: white Gatorade and a Snickers bar before every start. He was recruited by Bryan to be a pitcher and was not sure what to expect as he had never played that position before. As a hard worker, Knudsen put in the work moving up from bullpen to a closer. This year, he is a starter for Saturdays’ game two during weekend series. Knudsen’s high velocity fastball has seen speeds of up to 94 mph and is what gets him going, but he primarily relies on his breaking ball to help make his pitching affective on the mound. His nickname “2K” reflects his work on the mound.

“Two K’s are my initials and I’m known for my strikeouts.”

At Bryan, Knudsen is a communication major with a minor in journalism and hopes to play baseball as long as he can before going into sportscasting. When he’s not on the field, he enjoys playing recreational football and basketball, golfing, relaxing at the house with his teammates, and playing with his dog, Freedom.

The best advice someone ever gave him was, “If you believe you can or can’t, you’re right,” a quote attributed to Henry Ford. And he has listened to that advice, in fact, the greatest game of his career so far is the no-hitter he threw against Taylor University (Upland, Indiana) on Feb. 20.

Knudsen also has come up with his own motto: “When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. Big-time players make big-time plays.”

And for those wonder what three items he would bring with him if he were stranded on an island, he would bring his Bible, a baseball and sunscreen.