Media Day Quotes - February 11

Brad Hill, Head Coach
On having an experienced roster…
“Eight seniors is a lot of seniors (most for K-State since 2006). We have such a large freshman class, that’s the kind of thing that offsets that experience – particularly the number of young kids that will be playing this year. But at the same time we like to think those eight seniors will provide good leadership. I do think we have a lot of experience at the top, but we have a lot of kids that don’t have experience.”

On building this year’s team chemistry…
“We’ve worked hard at that. Our kids understand the importance of that. It all boils down to how you handle it when you start playing the game. Everybody gets to play at practice, and not everybody gets to play when you start games. All of sudden, instead of 16 kids in the lineup, there’s going to be nine kids in the lineup. That changes some things up, and how you’re playing changes things up. There are a lot of things can disturb that chemistry, and right now, (the chemistry) is pretty good. It’s important from a coaching staff standpoint that you continue to stress the importance of it when you start getting into a season and roles start getting established. Right now, there are a lot of roles unknown. The lineup, I’m sure, will change a number of times. The rotation – you wish you could write it and that’s how it’s going to be all year long, but that’s not how it will happen because there are a lot of things that will come into play. The kids have worked extremely hard to develop some good team chemistry. They do a lot of things together; they enjoy being together.”

On the challenge of early schedule, which is an 11-day trip to California and Arizona…
“(UC Riverside) will be a challenge because it will be a different uniform (on the other side). With Riverside, it will be California kids who have been playing outside. We’ve been fortunate to be outside on the weekends, but we haven’t been able to be outside midweek. We’ve been able to put a lot of game-type practice in, but we haven’t done a lot of breakdown. I would like to be able to do defensive things outside. There are a lot of differences when you talk about being out and in, particularly when you start talking about your defensive schemes and what you do defensively.”

On potential strengths of the team…
“I’m hoping the pitching depth is, knock on wood. We seem to have maybe more pitching (than previous years). There is a lot of potential in that pitching staff. We have a lot of guys with big-game experience. I’m sure there are going to be some growing pains.”

On the change in pitching philosophy with new pitching coach Tyler Kincaid…
“I always let the coaches coach. It has been probably me giving up 70 percent (of what I want to do) and (Coach Kincaid) giving back 30 percent. We are trying to meet, and I don’t want him to think we have to meet in the middle. There are some things that he really likes to do that I think have brought some positives to our program. There are some things I have asked to give back. It’s a little give-and-take, but it’s probably more me allowing him to do what he needs to do because that’s why I brought him here. Implement your system – he’s had a lot of success at (the University of San Diego). (His system) is a lot more in depth. There’s a lot more to it than what I’m used to. I’m a little more old school – let’s line up and play – and there are a lot more things he likes to do that I’ve had to adjust to, which will be fine.”

On Tyler Kincaid’s biggest strength is…
“Josh (Josh Reynolds, K-State pitching coach from 2011-15) did a tremendous job for us and was a big part of the success we had. He was a part of our (NCAA) Regional teams and our conference championship team. (Kincaid) brings some different things to the table; he’s a little more in-depth. And Josh is out of my tree – not only my coaching tree but my playing tree (Reynolds pitched for Hill at Central Missouri State from 1998-2000). A lot of the things he had were what I was used to. Coach McCann (Sean McCann, K-State pitching coach from 2004-2010 and in the summer of 2015) was also out of my coaching tree. And that circle was really comfortable for me. Now, all of sudden, I have a lot of new things coming to me. Things that are going to be a positive. (Kincaid) is really detailed on what he does.”

On depth of the pitching staff extending to the starting rotation…
“(Nate Griep) that’s probably that one guy you wish you had back. Nate is kind of that true “Friday Night” guy. That’s not to take away anything from the guys we have, but he just was. He was an eighth-round pick that I thought should have gone higher. We have guys that know their strengths and weaknesses. I think (Kincaid) will do a great job of calling a good game for them and putting us in a position (to win). What will be nice is we will have more numbers. So if we need to turn the corner in the fifth inning – that’s probably nothing new to Kansas State baseball – we are going to have a number of guys. We won’t be relying on two guys all weekend. I think we will have four, five, six guys that we won’t be scared to throw out there and pitch in relief roles.”

On Levi MaVorhis…
“Levi looks really good. The (offseason) surgery went great. He has been doing a great job in rehab. (Athletic trainer) Blaine Burris has done a great job with him. His velocity is up three or four miles per hour. Right now, it’s kind of flip a coin. That’s one of our little battles: is (Levi) on Friday or is Corey Fischer? Right now, Corey is ahead because I have chosen for him to be ahead. But Levi is sitting there, knocking on the door. He really looks good, and I’m happy for him. He’s worked so hard. Since his freshman year, he’s kind of just battled some ups and downs, and then the injury (last season). I just hope he really has a great breakout senior year.”


Tyler Wolfe, senior, shortstop/right-handed pitcher
On looking forward to splitting pitching and playing shortstop…
“I think so. We have a little more depth in the infield, so I should have the opportunity to throw more this year. I always have been able to pitch – I’ve pitched my whole life – so I feel comfortable out there.”

On depth of the pitching staff and pushing each other…
“We are really deep, which is good. It’s nice to see that many guys because if you know there is a guy right behind you chasing your tail, you know it’s going to push you even farther. Whereas if there is a lot of separation, you’re not going to work quite as hard. It’s been good for all of us.”

On developing team chemistry…
“We have a lot more guys returning this year, which helps. We also have eight seniors, which definitely helps out the ball club a lot.”

On taking the next step as a team…
“Keep piecing it together. Last year, we proved we were really good sometimes and not so good other times. If we can just take that mindset of being really aggressive and just playing our game, I think we can be really good.”


Corey Fischer, senior, right-handed pitcher
On where he is at compared to last year…
“Me personally, going into the season, I just have a year of experience underneath my belt. Originally I started out playing junior college and then obviously I had my first year last year at the Division I level. Just having that confidence knowing what everything will be like will be a big help for me.”

On being the “Friday Night” starting pitcher entering the season…
“It doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me. The big thing for me is just give my team a chance to win. Whatever role it will be, that’s what I will contribute.”

On three different pitching coaches in the last three years…
“Honestly, I kind of like all the different coaches. Little different philosophies and you are just bouncing ideas off of them. More input is better than nothing.”

On the difference of working under pitching coach Tyler Kincaid…
“He’s a ‘West Coast’ guy, so he has, in my opinion, a little more of an advanced plan. I’m just a small town kid – get up there and throw. (The advanced plan is) good. It’s going to be more of what we need.”

On any pressure on the pitching staff…
“I wouldn’t say there is any more pressure that goes along with this year. We have a lot of new guys coming in. We have a couple key junior college guys and a great freshman recruiting class, not only on the pitching side but the hitting side.”


Levi MaVorhis, senior, right-handed pitcher
On how he is feeling coming off an injury-shortened 2015 season…
“Good. It was a process getting back, but working with Blaine (Burris, Athletic Trainer) and Coach Coachman (Evan Coachman, Strength and Conditioning Coach). It was fun getting back, and I’m feeling good.”

On frustrations of last year with the injury…
“It was frustrating to say the least. Going out and trying to throw when your arm is barking at you. I was just trying to help the team and it was frustrating. I’m glad to be back and looking forward to the season.”

On not pushing his return from injury too fast…
“(Laughs) That’s the trick. Especially when your arm is feeling good, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I can go out and pitch in a game right now.” I’m glad that Blaine (Burris) made me wait a little bit because it paid off.”

On his role as a senior leader on the team…
“I try to help out the young guys because we have a lot of young talent, both hitting and pitching. I try to get the game to slow down for them. We’ve been there, freshmen coming in, and everything seems so fast. The trick is to get them confident because they are all here for a reason. The trick is to get them to know that and give them as much confidence as you can when they are out there on the mound. They can have a big impact. Just try to give them confidence to go out there and get the job done.”

On the competition with Corey Fischer for the “Friday Night” starting pitcher job…
“Competition is good for the whole team. Just get outs when you get the ball and let the coaches figure out who is pitching when.”

On what he has picked up working with new pitching coach Tyler Kincaid…
“He works a lot on pitching out of your comfort zone. He talks about raising the bar and the ceiling for us, trying to get us to do stuff that we’re not always comfortable with doing but getting us comfortable with doing those things. Perhaps like making pitches in locations that you wouldn’t have tried before, and seeing what we can and can’t do. He raises the bar for us. It’s been fun working with him and getting challenged by him.”

On the addition of velocity changing his approach to pitching…
“It’s been a while since I’ve really been gunned, so I’m not too concerned with velocity right now. I’m mostly just trying to hit spots because in the end, location wins no matter how hard you throw. If you throw 95, you can get hit. If you throw 82, you can get outs. It just matters about location.”