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VanVleet bests Baker in Shocker first pitches at Kauffman Stadium

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, June 21, 2014, at 4:11 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, June 21, 2014, at 5:21 p.m.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Moments before the game, Wichita State basketball players were warming up, but this was different.

Tekele Cotton, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker tossed baseballs in the hallway near the clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium.


“A little bit,” said VanVleet after throwing out the first pitch before the Mariners-Royals game on the inaugural Wichita State day on Saturday. “I haven’t played (baseball) since I don’t know how long. It’s been a while, but it was all good.”

The first-pitch lineup: VanVleet to WuShock, donning a Royals jersey, and Baker to Cotton. VanVleet’s toss got there. Baker buried his pitch.

“Pretty exciting,” Baker said. “That throw could have been a little better.”

His teammate had his back.

“It was a good pitch,” Cotton said. “Both of them had a good pitch. It was just a fun experience to even be out here.”

The Royals are holding four college days during the season. Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri have their turn later this season.

“This is an honor for Wichita, it’s just awesome for our whole community to be able to be out here in Kansas City,” Cotton said.

The Shockers’ magic didn’t rub off on the Royals, who lost 2-1 for a third straight defeat after a 10-game winning streak.

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