Wichita State’s baseball roster is undergoing a summer makeover. The Shockers added two infielders, two pitchers and an outfielder is likely on his way.
“We’re going to be a lot better team, I think, because we recruited some speed and recruited some hitting ability, without sacrificing any defense,” WSU coach Gene Stephenson said. “We’ve got some good citizens and good students and good, tough competitors.”
The newest additions to WSU’s recruiting class will provide infield depth and help a pitching staff hurt by a draft defection.
• Shortstop Cody Bobbit, a sophomore transfer from Heartland (Ill.) Community College and second baseman Sean Moore, a junior from Des Moines Area Community College, are signed.
Bobbit, from Palatine, Ill., hit .348 with four home runs and stole 32 bases in 33 attempts as a freshman. He will have three seasons of eligiblity at WSU. He underwent labrum surgery in late June and won’t play fall baseball while he recovers. Stephenson said the rehab time for the surgery is six months, likely making him ready for the start of practice in late January.
“He plays good defense and he’s a good hitter,” Stephenson said. “Obviously, he’s a tough guy after playing 58 games with a torn labrum and playing well.”
Moore, from Coralville, Iowa, hit .403 with eight home runs and 20 doubles for Des Moines Area. He was named to the All-Region XI team.
• Cowley College lefty Drew Palmer signed with Oklahoma State last fall. After a coaching change, the Cowboys’ new staff released him because the previous staff signed too many players. Palmer, from Arkansas City, considered Missouri before choosing WSU. Palmer went 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA, striking out 55 and walking 15, as a sophomore.
“I want to give my team a consistent chance to win,” Palmer said. “Consistency is a big thing in pitching. I want to be durable, go deep into games and be hard to get off the mound.”
Palmer could step into a starting role and help compensate for the loss of Blake Logan, a WSU signee who opted for the pros after Florida drafted him in the 13th round.
WSU also signed Austin Sanders, a lefty from Olathe East. Sanders went 3-5 with a 2.02 ERA as a senior, striking out 51 with 10 walks. He was named second-team All-Sunflower League.
• Outfielder Joe Haddox, from Moore, Okla., had a letter of intent from WSU on Friday afternoon and was expected to sign it. Haddox, a left-handed hitter, hit .360 as as senior. He played for Oklahoma in the Heartland Classic, formerly known as the Sunbelt Classic, in June.
That group will join six players previously signed: catcher Parker Zimmerman of Stillwater, Okla., infielders Tanner Kirk, of Lincoln, Neb., and Tanner Dearman, from Anadarko, Okla., outfielder Daniel Kihle, from Andale, and pitchers Garrett Brummett, from Concordia, and Brandon Peterson, from Des Moines Area. Stephenson said WSU gave first baseman Gage Matuszak, from Sandy, Utah, a release and he will be playing at Utah.
Five Shockers with eligibility remaining will not return.
Senior Aaron Rea is transferring to Emporia State. Infielder Sam Hall, who redshirted as a freshman, and sophomore outfielder Zach Stucky will transfer to junior colleges. Pitcher Kyle Bouman, who compiled a 2.18 ERA in 20 2/3 innings as a freshman, will transfer to a junior college closer to his home in St. Louis, Stephenson said. Catcher Ryan Hege, who hit .250 and started 33 games as a junior, will no longer play baseball, Stephenson said.