Kansas head coach Ritch Price announcedWednesday that seniors Ka'iana Eldredge, Jordan Piche' and Tucker Tharp havebeen named captains of the 2014 Jayhawk baseball team. All three seniors willbe serving as team captain for the first time in their careers.
"I am really proud to announce theselection of Ka'iana Eldredge, Jordan Piche' and Tucker Tharp as our captainsfor the 2014 season," Price said. "All three of these young men represent ourprogram in a first class manner, on the field, off the field and in theclassroom. Their leadership will be essential to the success of our team thisspring."
A 2013 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honoreea year ago, Eldredge finds himself back in the starting lineup for thefourth-consecutive year and second behind the dish. The six-foot senior started51 games a year ago, batting .213 with 21 RBIs. He was named to the 2013 JohnnyBench Award Midseason Watch List and will be making his fourth-straight openingday start for the Jayhawks.
Piche', a native of Greeley, Colo., is justthe second transfer player in Price's tenure to ever earn the honor of beingselected as team captain, as Sean Richardson captained the Jayhawks in 2005. Hereturns to the bullpen as one of fifty names that appears on the 2014 National CollegiateBaseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List,after a dominating season in 2013.
In one year as KU's closer, Piche' rackedup a Big 12-leading 12 saves, earning 2013 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, All-Big12 First Team and Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team honors.In addition, he was named to the 2013 NCBWA Midseason Stopper of the Year WatchList and to the 2013 ABCA All-Midwest Region Second Team. He appeared in 32games a year ago and finished the season 6-4 with a 1.68 ERA, that ranked No.19 in the NCAA.
Tharp rounds out the trio of seniorcaptains, returning as a three-year starter for the Jayhawks patrolling theoutfield. The Boulder, Colo., native stared 53 games a season ago and finishedwith a .235 batting average, scored 32 runs and knocked in 14 RBIs, whileswiping 11 bases. He is a career .252 hitter and holds a .974 fieldingpercentage at KU.
Kansas opens the 2014 slate in Peoria,Ariz., with a four-game series against BYU at the Peoria Sports Complex. Thefirst game and season opener is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. (CST).
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