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Oklahoma junior commits to Wichita State baseball team

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, at 4:33 p.m.

Junior third baseman Clay Richards, from Cashion, Okla., has orally committed to Wichita State’s baseball program.

Richards is the third athlete from the class of 2015 known to have committed to the Shockers. He watched practice earlier this week and committed at Eck Stadium. Richards said coach Todd Butler’s demeanor and WSU’s facilities made the decision easy and he didn’t bother to seriously consider other schools.

“(WSU coaches) are really cool and they’re there to help develop players,” Richards said. “They don’t yell at you. They tell you what they think and what you’re doing wrong so you can fix it.”

Richards (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) is home-schooled and plays in the spring for the Oklahoma City Broncos. During the summer, he plays for OKC Sandlot. He is a switch-hitter who throws with his right hand.

“The biggest thing were the coaches,” said Chad Richards, his father. “We met Coach Butler and (assistant coach Brian Walker) and really liked the way that they’ve got the program organized, their energy and how they approach games and practices. Things were extremely well organized and laid out in advance.”

San Diego Padres scout Lane Decker coaches the Sandlot team and helped start the Broncos for home-schooled players. The Broncos play a schedule filled with Oklahoma’s biggest schools.

“You can’t think this kid hasn’t played at a competitive level,” Decker said. “He’s played against some of the best players in Oklahoma. Clay is a physical kid. He’s got arm strength. He’s got raw power.”

Augusta pitcher Garrett Hutson and Heights lefty Keylan Killgore are also committed to WSU as juniors. Their commitments are non-binding and they cannot sign a letter of intent until November 2014.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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