MANHATTAN, Kan. – The K-State baseball team will begin its fall practices in preparation for the 2014 season on Sunday, September 29 at Tointon Family Stadium. The defending Big 12 champion Wildcats will conduct 35 practices over a period of 45 days, wrapping up camp on November 12.
The Wildcats will play intrasquad scrimmages every Monday, Wednesday and Friday over the next six-and-a-half weeks. The scrimmages will be held at about 3 pm on each day.
K-State returns 19 letterwinners from last year’s squad that came within one game of reaching the program’s first College World Series. Key returnees include an infield of 2013 All-Big 12 Player of the Year, second baseman Ross Kivett, and All-Big 12 First Team members, first baseman Shane Conlon and shortstop Austin Fisher. Sophomore pitcher Jake Matthys, who earned the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year award last season, will headline the Wildcats’ pitching staff, and senior catcher and 2013 All-Big 12 First Team honoree Blair DeBord completes the battery.
At the helm of the Wildcats is head coach Brad Hill. In his 11th year leading the K-State program, Hill was named 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year, which is the second time in the last five years he has garnered the honor. Under Hill’s direction, the Wildcats have reached the NCAA Regionals four times since 2009.
Pitching coach Josh Reynolds and hitting coach Mike Clement return to assist Hill in their fourth and second years, respectively. Former K-State players Trevor Hurley (graduate manager) and Drew Briery (undergraduate manager) along with Blake Kangas (volunteer assistant coach) also return to the Wildcat coaching staff for the 2014 season.