Among the names on Wichita State's pitching staff are three seniors, a fourth-year junior and a draft-eligible sophomore.
What that means for the draft and the 2011 season is unsure, a condition baseball coaches are used to handling. The Shockers attempted to fortify their arms department by signing four pitchers (one of whom may also hit) during the fall signing period.
"Other than the seniors, you don't really know who's going to leave next spring," WSU coach Gene Stephenson said. "You're kind of rolling the dice."
The Shockers signed seven in all, and remain in the market for a left-handed hitter. Depending on how the draft shakes out, WSU could either be holding open auditions for starting spots in 2011 or bringing back its rotation of Tim Kelley, Jordan Cooper, Charlie Lowell and Brian Flynn for a third straight season. Kelley is a redshirt junior, so he may chose to sign if drafted. Cooper, a sophomore, is eligible for the draft because of his age on draft day, just as shortstop Dusty Coleman was in 2008.
"Kelley is probably more likely (to sign)," Stephenson said. "If he has the kind of year we expect him to have, he might decide that he thinks it's the right thing for him. I think (Cooper) will be more inclined to stay. He would have to do really well (in the draft), because he's a great student."
WSU signed lefties Albert Minnis (Lawrence) and Kris Gardner (Coppell, Texas) and right-handers Zach Beringer (Harrisburg, Mo.) and Cale Elam (Oktaha, Okla.), who also plays the infield.
Minnis, who pitched in the Area Code Games, carries the most advance notice of the group.
WSU added three position players — shortstop Dayne Parker (Roff, Okla.), infielder Josh Halbert (Choctaw, Okla.) and catcher Bob Arens (Northwest High). Parker, who hit 11 home runs and batted .480 with the Oklahoma Travelers last summer, also went to the Area Code Games scouting showcase.
More to the story — WSU basketball coach Gregg Marshall revealed a few more of the details of Clevin Hannah's saga during a conference call for the CBE Classic on Friday. Hannah is serving a three-game suspension by the NCAA because WSU failed to certify him as an amateur before the 2008-09 season.
"My compliance director (associate athletic director Korey Torgerson) came to me approximately a month ago and said we had a problem," Marshall said. "Our guy missed it, when he was doing the eligibility forms. He alerted me. He immediately turned it into the NCAA, thinking it was a paperwork error."
WSU believed the NCAA would levy a fine and not punish Hannah, a senior who transferred to WSU from a junior college in 2008.
"That used to be the way it was," Marshall said.
However, starting in 2008, the NCAA instituted a no-exception policy to penalize athletes 10 percent of their season.
"We're dealing with it," Marshall said. "We don't like it."
WSU athletic director Eric Sexton confirmed the events. He said that while Torgerson delivered the bad news, the responsibility was not his alone to clear Hannah with the NCAA.
"It's combined with others on campus," he said. "It's a process."
Hannah will return on Tuesday when WSU plays either Iowa or Texas in Kansas City.
Finishing touches — WSU's indoor practice building is a few weeks away from completion.
Sexton said he expects workers to install the AstroTurf GameDay Grass during the first week of December. The building, located next to Eck Stadium, should be ready by mid-December. Baseball and softball camps are scheduled beginning Dec. 20.
Sexton said he expects to open the facility for a public tour in January.
Golf majors — WSU senior Dustin Garza plays in the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic beginning Monday in El Paso, Texas.
The field consists of 32 All-American golfers playing 54 holes at the El Paso Country Club. Today, they compete in driving and putting contests and play a practice round.
Freshman Rafael Becker will play for the Brazilian national team in the South American Championships. Becker, from Sao Paulo, is one of five players on the team. The match-play tournament runs for four days and 144 holes beginning Wednesday in Paraguay.