Varsity Kansas

Pitching tradition runs deep at Campus

Campus' Alec Meier was an All-Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail baseball player last season, and if you're up on the Colts' recent history, it's probably not too difficult to guess what position he plays.

Pitcher.

Meier is the latest in a decade-long string of ace pitchers at Campus. He follows Jarrod Craig, Calvin Drinnen, Brandon Johnson, David Ormiston and Jonathan Murray, all of whom pitched collegiately.

"I've been at Campus 10 years now, and about every year we've sent a pitcher on to pitch college baseball," coach Bryan Clasen said. "We've had pretty good arms coming through this program for quite some time."

The run of good pitching isn't likely to end when Meier graduates after next season. Clasen said the Colts' freshman class features multiple potential aces.

Clasen can't explain the Colts' good fortune in finding quality pitching, but he's not exactly looking for an explanation.

"It's something that happens," Clasen said. "It's something we don't take for granted around here. That's one of the things that Campus baseball has been known for in the past is the pitching."

Past Campus pitchers were known for their velocity. That's not the case with Meier, who joins senior Kyle Flax at the top of the Colts' staff.

But Meier is just as reliable as those pitchers, just like it has become reliable that Campus will have a standout pitcher every spring.

"It's critical to have someone like that on the (mound)," Clasen said. "That's where it all starts. Kids play with more confidence when you have someone like that on the mound, with a little more hop in their step."

Blending in — During Tuesday's game against Bishop Carroll, Maize coach Rocky Helm called for a batter to swing away when he said he normally would have signaled for a sacrifice bunt.

With several new faces in the lineup, Helm is learning about his team's strengths. He liked what he saw in Maize's 17-4 win over Carroll.

"It's kind of fun, because I have a lot of interchangeable parts," Helm said. "It's just a deal where I wanted to tinker around and see what we have."

New starters such as Thomas Clay, Conner Knight and Logan Abbott are joined by veterans Blake Sturgeon, Tory Bell, Gage Byers and Ross Cunningham, giving Helm a mix he likes.

"So far our seniors have been wonderful," Helm said. "We've told them it's their team and they've made sure we've started team chemistry, and I hope it continues."

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