Ingram ready to build off strong fall


Sean Marty / The Sunflower

Sophomore Chuck Ingram takes a swing during a game against Cowley College on Sept. 13 inside Eck Stadium.

After Chuck Ingram had concluded his freshman season, he knew what his weakness was. Curveballs. 

Ingram worked in the summer and fall to see as many off-speed pitches as possible. It paid off during WSU’s fall scrimmages, hitting five doubles and a home run, while making more consistent contact at the plate.

“This summer I really worked hard on curveballs obviously and seeing curveballs early in the count and swinging at them and having better at bats,” Ingram said. “Last spring, that transition from high school to college with curveballs was a little difficult because I wasn’t used to seeing curveballs that good.”

Ingram said that being able to take off-speed pitches early on in the count has been crucial to having better at-bats. Last year, Ingram struck 34 times in 89 at bats, largely due to these struggles.

“It’s really helped me for tracking pitches and laying off pitches early in the count,” Ingram said. “Going into the season, it’s going to help me have better at bats and at the end of the day, help the team get a win.”

Head coach Eric Wedge said he’s been impressed with Ingram’s improvement in tracking pitches.

“He has made consistent progress,” Wedge said. “He’s doing a better job of controlling the zone, obviously he’s very strong, has a lot of raw power, so when he touches it, it goes a long way. He’s not trying to do too much and he’s really worked hard in the outfield.”

When Ingram finally arrived on Wichita State’s campus last fall, he had low expectations for his role on the team. Ingram was rehabbing after wrist surgery, still having some lingering effects. 

Although Ingram didn’t expect it, he got an opportunity to get some playing time in the spring. On April 10, starting first baseman Garrett Kocis broke his wrist, which forced him to miss over a month. Ingram was called upon to help fill that void and started 15 games over Kocis’ absence. 

Ingram is now adjusting to the outfield, after catching most of his high school career and playing first base last season.

“I hadn’t really played the outfield that much, now I’ve been playing it for a while,” Ingram said. “I’ve gotten used to everything here, the team and coaches. I feel very comfortable and confident heading into this season.”

Ingram is motivated to earn one of the vacant outfield spots, after Corrigan Bartlett and Hunter Gibson both graduated. 

“I looked up to all those guys that were here last year obviously and they taught me so much,” Ingram said. “That’s always what I dreamed of, starting in the outfield for a D-I program. It’s really important to me.”

The Kansas City, Missouri native said Bartlett and Gibson were both beneficial in his growth in the outfield and is happy he got the opportunity to learn from them.

“I took a lot because I was new to it,” Ingram said. “I learned a lot with my footwork, that was all new to me and just helping me with fly balls and stuff like that. All those things I didn’t know before, they helped me out. I’m really thankful for that.”