The Sanburn family pitching tree is moving from Arkansas to Wichita State.
Shocker baseball coach Todd Butler helped recruit brothers Nolan and Parker Sanburn to Arkansas. Earlier this month, right-hander Chandler Sanburn, their cousin, orally committed to Wichita State. The Shockers are in good shape if there is a family resemblence on the mound. Nolan Sanburn is with Oakland’s Class A team after the A’s picked him in the second round of the 2012 draft. Parker Sanburn is a freshman at Arkansas.
“(Nolan) loved Coach Butler and so does their family,” Chandler Sanburn said. “That really helps with the decision, knowing he's such a great guy and helped my cousins out.”
Chandler Sanburn (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) is a senior at Avon High in Avon, Ind. His cousins are from Kokomo, Ind., and about 70 miles separates the towns. Quinn Moore is pitching coach for the Indiana Bulls summer team and he coached all three.
“His body type is similar to his cousins,” Moore said. “He’s slender, but with a big frame. He’s got a good body to grow into. Down the road, he's going to be a low 90s (mph) guy consistently. That’s kind of the path his cousins took.”
Sanburn said his fastball consistently reaches 87-89 mph and his slider is his best secondary pitch. He visited Army and also considered Michigan State and Wake Forest.
He will join Bulls teammate Taylor Goshen, a pitcher who is also orally committed to WSU. The Bulls also produced former Shockers Max Hutson, Brian Spear and Tad Reida.
Unexpected lineup — WSU’s men’s golf team starts its fall season on Sunday at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational at the Air Force Academy. Three freshmen qualified in the top six, to the concern of coach Grier Jones.
Senior Chandler Rusk, who carded WSU’s third-best score in the NCAA regional last spring, did not qualify.
“We were planning on him and thought he would qualify and he wasn't even close,” Jones said.
Senior Calvin Pearson, junior Louis Cohen Boyer and sophomore Alec Heinen will join freshmen Grant Bennett, Timothy Jordan and Maxwell Mason on the trip. There are two other freshmen on the roster, meaning Jones is preparing for ups and downs.
“You’ve got to have some patience,” he said. “With that many new guys, it’s going to take some time. We hope to get everybody here and get them comfortable and work with them.”
Bennett, from Prosper, Texas, is already impressing Jones with his practice habits. The high level of golf in Texas, and the weather, produces players who come to college prepared for good competition.
“The kids from Texas have a little more experience and they play a little harder than kids from other areas,” Jones said. “I don't have to worry about him being there working on his game.”
• WSU’s women’s golf team starts its fall season on Monday in Lincoln, Neb., at the Chip-N-Club Invitational. Coach Tom McCurdy also has a young roster — no seniors, a junior, four sophomores and two freshmen.
• WSU’s men’s tennis team travels to Midland, Texas for the Midland Fall Invitational on Friday. The women’s tennis team plays in the K-State Invitational beginning Sept. 20 in Manhattan.
Worth noting — Missouri State men’s basketball player Keith Pickens is returning to the team. He quit the sport after last season due to chronic knee pain. After a few months off, Pickens will play for the Bears. He started 19 games last season, averaging 6.1 points … Northwest Florida State College center Stephen Hurt added a visit to Indiana on Sept. 20, according to zagsblog.com. Hurt is scheduled to visit Wichita State on Sept. 14.