Kansas Baseball Opens Spring Practices Friday

Jan. 25, 2013

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas baseball began preparations for the 2013 season under sunny skies Friday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. The Jayhawks took infield/outfield and spent time in the batting cage as the team held its first official practice of the 2013 season.

Under 11th-year head coach Ritch Price, the Jayhawks return a solid nucleus of talent from last year’s squad, which finished seventh in the final Big 12 standings.

Kansas returns 22 total letterwinners, which includes All-Big 12 honorees junior right-handed pitcher Frank Duncan, sophomore left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin and junior outfielder Tucker Tharp. With Benjamin, Duncan and senior Thomas Taylor, the Jayhawks return their entire weekend starting rotation that combined for 16 wins a year ago.

Offensively, KU brings back six position starters from last season, including its entire starting outfield of sophomore Dakota Smith, sophomore Michael Suiter and Tharp. Other returning position starters include senior catcher Alex DeLeon, senior second baseman Jordan Dreiling and senior shortstop Kevin Kuntz.

The Jayhawks also added several talented newcomers, including right-handed pitcher Hayden Edwards, infielder Tommy Mirabelli and left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson, who were all selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, to their roster for the 2013 season.

Along with the traditional 45 days of practice during the fall season, KU also traveled to the Dominican Republic in December and played eight games on its week-long tour. The Jayhawks went 4-2 in six games against the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians’ Baseball Academies, along with a pair of exhibition matchups against local amateur teams on the island.

Kansas will practice six days a week for the next three weeks in preparation for the season-opener on Friday, Feb. 15, when the Jayhawks face Nevada in Mesa, Ariz. KU’s home-opener is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22 against Northwestern.

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