With piles of snow and frigid temperatures on Mount Oread, KU baseball head coach Ritch Price opened media day Feb. 11 by deadpanning, “First of all, we can look outside and see that the weather is conducive to playing this great game.”
In fact, the winter weather in recent weeks forced the Jayhawks to take a field trip to Dallas, where they enjoyed a rare practice outside. KU opens the season Feb. 14 with a four-game series against Brigham Young University in Peoria, Ariz.
As he begins his 12th season at KU, Price focuses on consistency. “Our thing is we’re trying to win series. We talk with our players about being professional every day and preparing properly every day,” he said. “We try to handle things as a coaching staff if we don’t do well on Friday night. One of the things that we preach is that when you walk into the ballpark, we shouldn’t be able to tell by your body language or how you go about your work if you won or lost the night before. That’s what the best players in the game do.”
Team captains for the 2014 season include senior catcher Ka’iana Eldredge from Honolulu, Hawaii; senior outfielder Tucker Tharp from Boulder, Colo.; and senior pitcher Jordan Piché from Greeley, Colo., who was named to the 2014 Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Another preseason highlight included the Perfect Game website’s listing of senior right-handed veteran Frank Duncan, San Francisco, 46th on its list of the top 100 college seniors.