Bryan Oelkers earned NCAA Pitcher of the Year honors in 1982 and was part of one of college baseball’s greatest staffs. The Shockers went to the College World Series in their fifth season under coach Gene Stephenson, led by a powerful offense and the rotation of Oelkers, Erik Sonberg and Don Heinkel. Oelkers talks about how he chose Wichita State after Missouri offered him a walk-on spot, how the Shockers coaching staff turned the Shockers into national contenders and a moment with catcher Charlie O’Brien that foreshadowed his success. Oelkers remembers how his summer in Alaska set the stage for his junior season and discusses a bit of mind trickery from pitching coach Brent Kemnitz that played a part in getting his mind right after a tough sophomore season.
Mark Grogan played baseball at Wichita State from 1982-85. His book “I Owe It all to Baseball,” details growing up in a family of nine and the drama that included. He learned to deal with his temper playing basketball and handled disappointment when the Minnesota baseball coach declined to recruit him. That rejection started him on a journey to Wichita State and a starting spot in the 1982 College World Series. He describes teasing from Charlie O’Brien at his first practice, the infamous Texas doubleheader in 1982, the rivalry with Oklahoma State and the talents of Shockers Russ Morman and Kevin Penner.
Wichita State pitchers Jaime Bluma and Shane Dennis talk about 1990s baseball. They pitched on the 1991 and 1993 NCAA runner-ups (and the 1992 team that also played in the College World Series). We discuss the rivalry with Creighton, favorite regional memories at Eck Stadium, favorite Dreifort (Darren and Todd) home runs, Billy Hall’s surprise season and how the 1990 regional loss stuck with the 1991 team.