Wichita State is loading up on baseball pitchers for the November signing period.
Three gave the Shockers oral commitments over the past week, one from junior college and two high school seniors. They are the first three known commitments for WSU from the class of 2013.
Grayson County (Texas) College reliever Ray Ashford is pitching for the Liberal Bee Jays in the NBC World Series. He hasnt allowed a run in four appearances over 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking one. At Grayson, Ashford compiled a 2.94 ERA in 18 1/3 innings as a freshman. He struck out 11 and walked 13. Ashford is from Sachse, Texas and is playing with Shockers Dayne Parker and Tyler Baker this summer with the Bee Jays.
Waverly (Neb.) pitcher Sam Tewes announced his non-binding commitment on his Twitter account. Tewes was a Class B All-State pick as a utility player as a junior. He went 5-1 with a 1.19 ERA during the regular season, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star. He hit .406 with five home runs at first and third base in the regular season.
Pine Creek (Colo.) lefty Reagan Biechler came to a camp at WSU the last weekend in July and departed with a scholarship. He went 5-2 with a 1.69 ERA and 64 strikeouts and 15 walks, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, as a junior. He hit .354 with four home runs
Biechler (BEEK-ler) said he also considered New Mexico, Air Force and Santa Clara. WSU pitching coach Brent Kemnitz started recruiting him last winter and watched him in tournaments in Arizona and Texas. He came to WSUs camp hoping for an offer and wanting to commit.
It was a lot of pressure, but thats something you like, Biechler said. You know that theyre watching you. I just realized its all about having fun and I had to do what I had to do.
Biechler came through with one of his best outings of the summer at the camp. He said Kemnitz wanted him to see a tighter curveball before offering a scholarship and he threw the pitch effectively.
After talking with Coach Kemnitz and Coach (Gene) Stephenson, I love the coaches and I love the way they coach, he said. The facilities are amazing.
Biechler started working with former Seattle Mariners pitcher Pat Rice as a freshman. Rice, now the pitching coach for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, says Biechler throws in the high 80s mph and expects his breaking ball to improve throwing at lower elevations. Just as important, he loves the way Biechler hates to lose.
He not only wants to do well, he wants to beat you, Rice said. You cant have enough of those guys on your team. Thats a good quality for a pitcher, being relentless.
WSU coaches cannot comment on non-binding commitments. The signing period begins Nov. 14.
WSU softball looking for players WSUs softball team will hold tryouts at 3 p.m. Aug. 22 at Wilkins Stadium. For information contact coach Kristi Bredbenner at 978-3260 by Aug. 16.
Participants must have a physical conducted by WSU.