Wichita State needs one more former player to step up and produce a son who can throw in the high 80s and break off a nasty curveball. One more, and the Shockers could roll out a weekend rotation filled with sons of former Shocker pitchers.
Garrett Brummett, son of 1989 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Greg Brummett, is a freshman. Mitch McIntyre, son of Rich McIntyre, orally committed to WSU recently. He is a senior at Northwest
Mitch McIntyre (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) grew up watching the Shockers and hearing about the coaches from his dad, who pitched there from 1984-87. He watched the super regional games in 2007 and 2008. He listened to the instructional CD by pitching coach Brent Kemnitz. His dad told him funny stories about Kemnitz getting kicked out of games. When he watched practice last week, he recognized drills his dad taught him.
“I’ve been a WSU fan my whole life,” he said.
His parents, however, didn’t want him to make a quick choice. They visited Oral Roberts and considered Duke, Dartmouth — Mitch is an excellent student — and junior colleges. ORU and new coach Ryan Folmar made a good impression. Even after he made his official visit to WSU and loved it, he waited two weeks to commit.
“I was almost playing devil’s advocate,” Rich McIntyre said. “I wanted him to explore his options as much as possible.”
WSU carried the day due to the two factors Mitch McIntyre identified as most important. He wanted to be comfortable with his coach and he wanted to work with a good weights coach. With Kemnitz and WSU strength and conditioning coordinator Kerry Rosenboom, he believes he found both.
“I loved the coaches, especially Brent,” he said. “He obviously knows his stuff.”
Rich McIntyre loved hearing that.
“Having played for Brent, I’m pretty biased,” he said. “I think he’s the best pitching coach in the country. Kerry was a big seller. After meeting with him, I think Mitch was ready to run through a wall for him.”
Rich McIntyre says his son pitches with more smarts than he did in high school (both are right-handers. WSU coaches watched him this summer when he threw a perfect game for the Midwest Wolverines in a tournament at Eck Stadium. He followed that with a one-hit shutout and a two-hit shutout in seven-inning games.
“He knows how to attack hitters,” Rich McIntyre said. “He can throw inside to set up his off-speed away. I had no clue what I was stepping into.”
Neither of the McIntyres said WSU’s recent NCAA regional drought bothered them. They like the chances for improvement and Rich McIntyre strongly endorses the coaching staff. He wouldn’t send his son to a place he didn’t believe in.
“The former players, they stand behind the program and what those guys did for them,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of hope going forward. After talking to Gene (Stephenson) … he still has the fire and desire to win as much as he did when I played there.”
Updated dates — WSU’s baseball fall series begins at 2 p.m. Sept. 29, as previously listed. Other dates changed. The new schedule: Game 2 is 3 p.m. Oct. 2, Game 3 is 3 p.m. Oct. 5; Game 4 is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7; Game 5 is 3 p.m. Oct. 9; Game 6 is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11; and Game 7 is 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13. Admission is a can of food for the Kansas Food Bank.
In the rankings — Golf World placed seniors Rafael Becker and Hunter Sparks on its list of 50 players to watch in its college preview edition.
Becker won a third straight Brazilian Amateur title over the summer and earned Missouri Valley Conference Golfer of the Year honors in 2012. Sparks is the defending MVC champion.
WSU opens the fall season Monday in the Shocker Classic at Wichita Country Club. WSU won the tournament last season with Sparks and Calvin Pearson sharing medalist honors.
WSU’s women’s team opens the season Monday at the Chip-N-Club Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. The field includes MVC teams Missouri State and Creighton.
Tough date — WSU’s men’s golf team, like the baseball, basketball and volleyball teams, must be concerned with strength of schedule. Rankings that help determine NCAA regional placement and seedings take into account opponents. With that in mind, coach Grier Jones is considering not holding a home tournament in the future.
This fall’s field includes one other NCAA Division I school, Kansas State. The other six teams are small colleges or junior colleges. Oklahoma City is the defending NAIA champion. Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College is the two-time NJCAA champion. But their relative strength doesn’t help the Shockers.
“I feel badly about it, but we’re a Division I school and we need to play Division I teams,” Jones said. “Those coaches who have supported us, I’m going to apologize to them.”
The Shocker Classic moved to the fall two years ago and failed to gain a following from Division I schools. Jones said the calendar is so crowded with attractive options it is hard to lure Division I schools to Wichita. Weather didn’t cooperate when WSU held the tournament in early April.
“I’m not much of a computer believer, but it’s how they rank the teams at the end of the year, it’s how they pick the at-large teams to go to the NCAA, so you better pay a little bit of attention to it,” Jones said.
Worth noting — Men’s tennis players Matheus Pereira and Tomislav Gregurovic were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association scholar-athletes for 2012, denoting athletes with at least a 3.50 grade-point average.… Indiana State center Mike Samuels is out at least until Christmas with a broken right foot, according to the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. Samuels, a 6-11, 285-pound junior transfer, was expected to start. He played with WSU guard Nick Wiggins at Wabash Valley (Ill.) College last season.