Shocker Baseball picked to finish fourth in AAC preseason poll


Lena Alhallaq/ The Sunflower

Wichita State junior Garrett Kocis stands at first base during the game against the Memphis Tigers at Eck Stadium on May 22, 2021.

Wichita State baseball was picked fourth in the American Athletic Conference baseball preseason poll, the league announced Wednesday. The fourth place selection is the highest since the Shockers joined the American in 2017.

First baseman Garrett Kocis and starting pitcher Jace Kaminska were selected to the AAC Preseason All-Conference Team. Kaminska was one of four players to be unanimous selections.

Kocis’ was limited to 36 games last season due to a wrist injury, but he lead the Shockers with 12 homers and 11 doubles. Kocis finished the season with a .685 slugging percentage, which is the highest of all returners in the AAC.

Kaminska is fresh off an impressive freshman season, going 8-1 with a 2.32 ERA last season. The Caney, Kansas native allowed more than two runs in only one of his 12 appearances during the 2021 season, tallying seven wins in conference play.

Reigning regular season champion East Carolina was picked first for the third straight season with 48 votes. Tulane and Cincinnati rounded out the top three, with the Green Wave receiving a first place vote.

WSU opens the season on Feb. 18 at Louisiana Tech, with the home opener at Eck Stadium scheduled for March 8 vs. Oral Roberts.

2022 Preseason Poll

1 ECU (6) 48
2 Tulane (1) 36
3 Cincinnati 30
4 Wichita State   29
5 UCF 28
6 South Florida (1) 26
7 Houston 20
8 Memphis   7

Preseason All-Conference Team

P – Carson Whisenhunt, So., East Carolina

P – Jack Jasiak, R-So., South Florida*

P – Tyler Hoffman, R-Jr., Tulane

P – Jace Kaminska, So., Wichita State

RP – C.J. Mayhue, So., East Carolina

C – Bennett Lee, So., Tulane

1B – Garrett Kocis, Sr., Wichita State

2B – Chase Englehard, So., Tulane

SS – Alex Freeland, So., UCF

3B – Carmine Lane, R-So., South Florida

OF – Gephry Pena, R-Jr., UCF

OF – Cole Harting, So., Cincinnati

OF – Paul Komistek, R-Jr., Cincinnati

OF – Griffin Merritt, R-Jr., Cincinnati

OF – Drew Brutcher, So., South Florida

DH – Tom Josten, R-Jr., UCF

DH – Luis Aviles, R-Sr., Tulane