The roster for the Wichita Alumni is almost set for the NBC World Series. As usual, it serves as a trip down memory lane for Wichita State baseball fans.
Former Shockers pitchers Nate Robertson and Rob Musgrave, Tymber Lee, Drew Palmer, Jared Simon and Khol Nanney are on the roster. Robertson, one of four players with Major League experience, is the planned opening game starter. Former WSU infielder Casey Walkup is the manager and organizer. He will be joined on the infield by players such as Blake Blasi and Erik Harbutz. Former Shockers Ryan Jones and Kevin Hall are outfielders.
Walkup said most of the players eagerly accepted his invitation. The team has been practicing since early July. The NBC begins July 24. Walkup could use catching depth to help former Emporia State catcher David Allbritton and former Shocker Terry Elliot.
“Guys have competition in their blood,” Walkup said. “When you get somebody like Nate that puts in his commitment, it kind of shows that we want to compete. We didn’t want to go out there with zero preparation.”
Gene Stephenson and Jim Thomas, former WSU coaches, considering managing the team before other commitments intervened, Walkup said.
Infielder Andy LaRoche (Dodgers, Blue Jays, Pirates, A’s), pitcher Ryan Kohlmeier (Orioles) and infielder Alex Prieto (Twins) lead the non-Shocker group on the roster. Former Kansas Jayhawks Ryan and Matt Baty will play.
While the Alumni are taking games seriously, “Having fun is a big part,” Walkup said. “We don’t get that bonding time like we all used to.”