Kansas Baseball Kicks Off Fall Ball Friday

Sept. 21, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Under 11th-year head coach Ritch Price, Kansas baseball opened fall practices on Friday at Hoglund Ballpark. The Jayhawks began their journey toward the 2013 season and will hold 27 team workouts from now until Nov. 4.

KU will scrimmage at various times during “Fall Ball”, including the annual Crimson and Blue World Series, which will take place towards the end of the 45-day period.

This season, because of the foreign tour KU is taking in December, the Jayhawks are allotted 10 extra practice sessions, which are scheduled throughout the month of November.

Price’s team returns a plethora of talent in 21 letterwinners from a year ago. Included in that group are 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.

Price, now in his 11th year at Kansas, is the second-winningest coach in school history with 323 career victories with the Jayhawks. His young team seemed to turn a corner at the end of the 2012 season, advancing to the semifinal round of the Big 12 Baseball Championship and eliminating college baseball powers Texas and Texas A&M from the tournament in the process.

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