Wichita State's baseball program needed less than a month to lure pitcher Kris Gardner out of Texas.
Gardner, from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, first heard from Wichita State in late October. He committed on Saturday during his visit to the campus.
"Wichita State is a big name in baseball circles," he said. "I can't say enough about the coaches. The players had nothing but good things to say about them."
Gardner (6-foot-5, 195 pounds) is a lefty who was named to the All-District team for the Class 5A private schools. He went 4-4 with a 2.40 ERA as a junior, striking out 53 (with nine walks) in 49 2/3 innings.
His father is Scott Gardner, who pitched at Oklahoma and in the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres organizations. WSU coach Gene Stephenson recruited him while an assistant at OU, which is where the connection started.
"He loved everything about the program," said Prestonwood coach Mike Maack. "I've seen a lot of pitchers like Kris that blossom once they get to college. I think that's where Kris fits in."
Maack, a former assistant coach at Central Florida and Tennessee and head coach at Tennessee Tech, said Gardner throws in the mid 80s and can touch the upper 80s.
"He's got a great changeup," Maack said. "He mastered that at a young age."
Gardner's father didn't let him throw curveballs until high school. That helped him develop his fastball and changeup.
"He's guided me my whole life," Kris Gardner said.
Gardner is the seventh player and the fourth pitcher to commit to WSU. He joins Roff (Okla.) infielder Dayne Parker, Choctaw (Okla.) infielder Josh Halbert, pitchers Cale Elam of Oktaha, Okla., Zach Beringer of Harrisburg, Mo. and Albert Minnis of Lawrence and catcher Bob Arens of Northwest High.
Players can sign beginning Wednesday.
Basketball signings expected _ Three Rivers Community College center Ehimen Orupke will sign with WSU's basketball team on Wednesday, coach Gene Bess said.
Orupke, from Lagos Nigeria, averaged six points and five rebounds in Three River's first two games. He originally signed with WSU during the spring of 2007. After the NCAA refused to grant him eligibility, he redshirted last season at Three Rivers. He will have three seasons of eligibility at WSU beginning in 2010-2011.
WSU has two scholarships available and may sign a second player this fall.
For the WSU women, Kelsey Jacobs, a center from Fortuna (Calif.) High, will sign, according to the Eureka (Calif.) Times-Standard.