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Back from vacation/furlough

Two weeks away. My only Shocker contact came in Houston, where I visited Rice University and can tell you WSU assistant basketball coach Marty Gross is fondly remembered.

Pitcher Zach Beringer (Harrisburg, Mo.) plays with Nate Goro this summer on the St. Louis-based Rawlings Prospects. Goro, who will be a freshman at WSU this fall, plays third, which makes him a person of immediate interest. When the Shockers wrapped up 2009, coaches wanted Chris O’Brien to catch more than play third base and Chance Sossamon to pitch more than play third. So there’s some intrigue this fall at third. Goro, according to Beringer, is an excellent defender. He realized that early this summer when Goro made a back-handed stop to extend a no-hitter for Beringer (it didn’t last). “When someone turns on it down the third-base line, I know I’ve got somebody to help me,” Beringer said. “He’s got one of the best gloves, if not the best, on our summer team.” Prospects general manager Todd Whaley loves Goro’s arm. “His ceiling has yet to be reached,” Whaley said. “He also looks and projects out to hit with a little power.”WSU men’s basketball plays at Cleveland State on Nov. 28.Minor-league buzz: Anthony Capra for Kane County; Conor Gillaspie in San Jose; Kenny Williams in Kannapolis; Tommy Hottovy in Portland.I’ve made some MVC basketball calls for Athlon’s magazine. A few tidbits that may (or may not) catch you up. Northern Iowa’s Lucas O’Rear is ditching his baseball hopes and will return to the Panthers for basketball. Creighton’s Cavel Witter is working out with the team this summer. His return to the team will evaluated later, with his teammates getting a say. Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich wants Osiris Eldridge to play more point guard this season.