K-State Baseball Prepares for 2011 Season

Kyle Hunter

Sept. 13, 2010

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Following a school-best third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference and its second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, the Kansas State baseball team began its fall practice Friday afternoon in preparations for the 2011 season.

K-State will conduct 24 practices over the next five weeks, followed by a five-game Fall World Series, which runs Tuesday, October 19 through Saturday, October 23, at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Wildcats return many veteran players, as 19 letterwinners are back from the 2010 campaign including the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year Nick Martini and All-Big 12 pitchers Kyle Hunter and Evan Marshall. The 19 returning lettermen are the most since 2008 and the second most since 2000.

The Wildcats welcome back six regular starters in the field, including all three outfielders in Martini, Matt Giller and Mike Kindel. First baseman Kent Urban and second baseman Jake Brown return to the infield, as does third baseman Jason King, who played every game in 2009 but sat out last season due to injury.

Three pitchers that collected at least 10 starts in 2010 – Hunter, Justin Lindsey and Kayvon Bahramzadeh – will return for 2011. Marshall, Thomas Rooke and James Allen, who earned nine saves a year ago, are back to anchor the bullpen as all three saw significant time down the stretch last year.

Head coach Brad Hill enters his eighth year at the helm of the Wildcats and holds a record of 230-168-3 in Manhattan and 648-259-3 overall. Since 2005, Hill has guided the Wildcats to five straight years of growth as K-State is the only team in the Big 12 to better its conference finish from the year prior.

Pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Sean McCann returns for his eighth season, while hitting coach Andy Sawyers begins his third year with K-State. Former graduate manager Matt Plante is the new volunteer assistant, who will assist Sawyers with the hitters and coach first base. Rob Vaughn, a K-State letterwinner from 2006-09, returns to Manhattan as a student assistant coach.

Kansas State opens the 2010 season on Friday, February 18, with a three-game series at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. The entire 56-game schedule will be released at a later date.