Cats Begin Fall Preparations Sunday

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Following a school-record 43-win season, which led to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the Kansas State baseball team begins fall practice on Sunday in preparations for the 2010 season.

K-State will conduct 22 practices over the next five weeks, followed by a seven-game Fall World Series, which runs Sunday, October 25 through Tuesday, November 3.

The Wildcats will use the fall to reload as they acclimate 17 newcomers - including 12 true freshmen - to Division I baseball. But Kansas State returns many veteran players who played a key role in last year's historic season as 18 letterwinners are back for the 2010 campaign, the second most since 2000.

The Wildcats welcome back four position players who ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 in at least one offensive category last season as Carter Jurica (infield), Jason King (infield), Nick Martini (outfield) and Adam Muenster (designated hitter) all return.

Four pitchers that collected at least one start in 2009 - Thomas Rooke, Ryan Daniel, Kayvon Bahramzadeh and Kyle Hunter - will return for 2010. Relief pitchers Matt Applegate, James Allen, Evan Marshall and Mark Joukoff return, while Justin Lindsey, who redshirted the 2009 season, will look to improve off his freshman year in 2008.

Head coach Brad Hill, the 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year, enters his seventh year at the helm of the Wildcats and holds a record of 193-146-3 in Manhattan and 611-237-3 overall. Pitching coach Sean McCann also returns for his seventh season, while hitting coach Andy Sawyers begins his second season with K-State. The Wildcats will welcome new assistant coach Anthony Everman, who will assist Sawyers with the hitters, tutor the K-State outfielders and coach first base.

Kansas State opens the 2010 season on Friday, February 19, at The Citadel Tournament in Charleston, S.C., against Delaware. The entire 56-game schedule will be released at a later date.