Fall Practices Get Underway

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The K-State baseball team opened up fall practices today, beginning a stretch of 28 practices and intra-squad scrimmages at Tointon Family Stadium over the next 45 days.

The Wildcats welcome back 16 letterwinners and 18 overall returners from last year’s team that reached the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship and finished sixth in the Big 12 regular season standings. The fall roster consists of 19 upperclassmen, including nine seniors and 10 juniors (four returners, six junior college transfers), as well as 17 freshmen and sophomores.

Key returners include a trio of seniors – infielder/pitcher Tyler Wolfe, catcher Tyler Moore, and pitcher Corey Fischer - that earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors last season. Moore finished the season as the team leader in batting average for the overall season while Wolfe paced the ‘Cats with a .366 clip in conference action. Fischer, meanwhile, did not allow a run in eight of his 10 Big 12 appearances out of the bullpen.

While several Wildcats played across the nation in summer leagues, a pair of returners had standout summer performances as sophomore Ethan Klosterboer was named the Mid-Plains League Player of the Year and senior Clayton Dalrymple was tabbed to the Jayhawk League First Team. Klosterboer garnered the league’s top honor after leading the Junction City Brigade with a .444 batting average, 25 walks and a .600 OBP. Dalrymple won his respective league’s batting title while also finishing first in OBP and second in stolen bases and hits with the El Dorado Broncos.

Among a steady mix of newcomers are three signees who were selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft last June but elected not to sign. Position player Josh Rolette was drafted in the 18th round by the St. Louis Cardinals while pitchers John Boushelle (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Jacob Ruder (Kansas City Royals) were taken in the 20th and 37th round, respectively.

Head coach Brad Hill returns for his 13th year at the helm of the Wildcats and will enter the upcoming campaign 10 wins shy of reaching 400 in his Wildcat career. He is joined on the coaching staff by associate head coach/offensive coordinator Andy Sawyers, newly-hired pitching coach Tyler Kincaid and volunteer assistant Blake Kangas.

The 2016 season starts with a four-game series at UC Riverside February 19-22. The Wildcats’ full schedule will be announced later this fall.