Kansas Baseball Announces 2014 Captains
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head coach Ritch Price announced Wednesday that seniors Ka’iana Eldredge, Jordan Piche’ and Tucker Tharp have been named captains of the 2014 Jayhawk baseball team. All three seniors will be serving as team captain for the first time in their careers.
“I am really proud to announce the selection of Ka’iana Eldredge, Jordan Piche’ and Tucker Tharp as our captains for the 2014 season,” Price said. “All three of these young men represent our program in a first class manner, on the field, off the field and in the classroom. Their leadership will be essential to the success of our team this spring.”
A 2013 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honoree a year ago, Eldredge finds himself back in the starting lineup for the fourth-consecutive year and second behind the dish. The six-foot senior started 51 games a year ago, batting .213 with 21 RBIs. He was named to the 2013 Johnny Bench Award Midseason Watch List and will be making his fourth-straight opening day start for the Jayhawks.
Piche’, a native of Greeley, Colo., is just the second transfer player in Price’s tenure to ever earn the honor of being selected as team captain, as Sean Richardson captained the Jayhawks in 2005. He returns to the bullpen as one of fifty names that appears on the 2014 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List, after a dominating season in 2013.
In one year as KU’s closer, Piche’ racked up a Big 12-leading 12 saves, earning 2013 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, All-Big 12 First Team and Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team honors. In addition, he was named to the 2013 NCBWA Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List and to the 2013 ABCA All-Midwest Region Second Team. He appeared in 32 games a year ago and finished the season 6-4 with a 1.68 ERA, that ranked No. 19 in the NCAA.
Tharp rounds out the trio of senior captains, returning as a three-year starter for the Jayhawks patrolling the outfield. The Boulder, Colo., native stared 53 games a season ago and finished with a .235 batting average, scored 32 runs and knocked in 14 RBIs, while swiping 11 bases. He is a career .252 hitter and holds a .974 fielding percentage at KU.
Kansas opens the 2014 slate in Peoria, Ariz., with a four-game series against BYU at the Peoria Sports Complex. The first game and season opener is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. (CST).
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