(KU headcoach Ritch Price celebrates the FISU World Championship. That guy bottom left looks like Price to me.) via www.fisu.net
This summer KU head coach Ritch Price was the infield coach for the U.S. Collegiate National Team. The FISU (International Federation of University Sports) is not the Olympic team, but they do play international opponents. The U.S. team went undefeated (24-0) this year for the first time and won their third consecutive Gold Medal. The championship tournament was played in the Czech Republic in July. Apparently the toughest opponents they faced were Japan and Cuba. KUAthletics.com published an interview with Price a few weeks back. Better late than never…
Price was very complimentary about several Big-12 pitchers on the team including Kendall Volz (Baylor), Andrew Oliver (Oklahoma State) and Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State). Kyle Gibson (Missouri) is the team set up man. Price expects Volz, Gibson and Oliver to all be first round draft choices next year.
The other highlight of the summer was playing against [former Jayhawk] Hiarali Garcia and the Canadian National Team. I have such great respect for Hiarali as a person and as a player. He pitched a scoreless 10th inning against us, and I was really proud of him, to see him in that Canadian National uniform, and have the chance to give him a hug after the game was a really special moment for me.
Price closed the interview remarking that this summer has also shown him how good some of the players are KU are when matched up against the best in the nation. "We had four guys on our team last year who could start on Team USA right now, and Paul Smyth could pitch on this team." I assume the other three players Price was referring to were John Allman, Erik Morrison and Rynn Price, but maybe he had Buck Afenir in mind.
KU has posted the Fall 2008 roster on-line. Several freshman are listed, including Lee Ridenhour, but notably absent is Zac Elgie. Elgie was taken in the 12th round in the draft but to my knowledge he has not yet signed a contract. The A’s have until Friday 11PM CST to sign Elgie.
[Update - Shortly after this story was published a revised roster was put on-line by KU which included Zac Elgie. More reason for hope. Six hours to go until the signing deadline.]
Newcomers listed include: Kelson Boyer (RHP, FR), Jason Brunansky (OF, FR), Kein Burk (RHP, FR), Brett Lisher (IF, JR, transfer from Allen County CC), Jake Marasco (OF, FR), Jared Meggison (RHP, FR), Lee Ridenhour (RHP, FR), Zach Sperry (RHP, FR) and Thomas Taylor (RHP, FR). There are 32 names on the roster. Each NCAA D-I team can carry as many as 35 so more names may be added. This is the first year in which Jr. College transfers must sit out a year before competing so I do not expect to see any additional transfers added.