Former bests current in fifth-annual alumni game, 6-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team welcomed back its alumni Saturday afternoon to honor the memory of legendary coach Floyd Temple in the Fifth-Annual Floyd Temple Alumni Game at Hoglund Ballpark where the past Jayhawk squad defeated the current club, 6-2.
Temple held the reins of the program from 1954-81, where he amassed 438 victories to become KU’s winningest coach. During his 28-season tenure, he coached seven future Major Leaguers, including his son, Biff Temple. After retiring from coaching, Floyd Temple served as an assistant athletic director at the university from 1981-92.
Over 30 Jayhawks returned to honor Temple’s memory and the alumni squad used its talent to win the abbreviated three-inning game, 6-2, against the current Kansas team. Former KU utility man from 2014-15 Blair Beck earned the win on the bump – his second, as he also started last year’s alumni game – after tossing two innings and allowing two runs. Former pitcher from 2004-05 Clint Schambach came on in the third to shut the door with a perfect frame for the save.
The alumni rallied for four runs in the first inning after second baseman (2013-16) Colby Wright hit a three-run home run over the wall in right center off current director of baseball operations Wally Marciel. A two-run top of the third sealed the deal and left breathing room for Schambach to shut the door.
“It was fun and good to be back on the field at Hoglund Ballpark,” Wright said. “I got a good pitch and hit it hard. As good as that was, it was fun to be back with all the current and former players who have been a big part of this program. That is what today is all about.”
The game wasn’t the most important thing head coach Ritch Price wanted his current squad to take away from the day, but rather the importance of acknowledging the past with the present.
“When our players get a chance to walk across the field and shake their hands, I tell them, ‘Those guys are Jayhawks,'” Price said. “It is a special day and you want to develop a relationship and bond with those guys because some day, the players in my dugout are going to become alums – today is a day I always look forward to.”
Former Kansas pitcher from 2012-15 Taylor Rappaport agreed.
“Coach Price treats this program like a family,” Rappaport said. “We are all brothers. Four years goes by quickly, but you are always a Jayhawk even when you are done. That is the great thing about it.”
The alumni squad has now won back-to-back alumni games with Beck recording the win in each contest. The current squad will continue its fall slate with a string of intrasquad scrimmages heading into Thanksgiving break.
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