Wichita State Shockers

Collegiate's Coughenour to play baseball for Shockers

When he was younger, Collegiate senior Tyler Coughenour liked to watch Wichita State baseball games from the outfield hill.

On Monday, he got a behind-the-scenes look at Shocker baseball on a recruiting visit. By Tuesday, his transformation from fan to recruit to future Shocker was complete. Coughenour, a 6-foot, 220-pound shortstop, orally committed to WSU and plans to sign a letter of intent soon.

Enjoying player privileges at the indoor practice facility is one of the appealing parts of being a Shocker.

"That thing is the coolest thing I've ever seen," he said. "I went on a visit Monday and I liked what I saw."

Coughenour plays shortstop for Collegiate after catching as a junior. He said coach Gene Stephenson sees him playing first base, third base or the outfield. That versatility is part of what makes him a standout at Collegiate.

"He's very attuned to the game of baseball," Collegiate coach Trent Nesmith said. "Our goal was to play him at shortstop (as a junior). We had an injury and we put him behind the plate. He went out and had a phenomenal year."

Collegiate assistant coach Mike Gehrer calls Coughenour the team's rottweiler. He expects Coughenour to show up as a freshman and be a leader who plays hard and pushes teammates to get better.

"They're getting a guy that's very tenacious," Gehrer said. "He's a strong kid that attacks the game. He never backs off."

Both coaches called Coughenour an intelligent, patient hitter who uses all fields.

"He has a terrific eye at the plate," Nesmith said. "He understands how he is being pitched."

Coughenour signed a non-binding letter with Cowley College before deciding to accept WSU's scholarship offer. Nesmith expected a Division I school to come after Coughenour as he played with his summer team, the Wichita Reds.

"He will fit in great at Wichita State," Nesmith said.