College Podcast: Wichita State Coach Eric Wedge Talks 2020 Season
On this edition of the Baseball America College Podcast, Wichita State coach Eric Wedge joins Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy to talk about his first year on the job in Wichita, the progress his team made in a short period of time and what's next for the Shockers.
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Wedge was introduced at his alma mater just over a year ago to understandable fanfare. After all, it's not every day that a baseball program names one of its most famous alumni, who also happens to be a former big league manager, to a head coaching position.
It was a small sample size thanks to the season being canceled in the end, but Wichita State looked like a much improved team under Wedge in 2020. After dropping its season-opening series on the road against Northwestern State, it ripped off 12 wins in a row to end the season, including a sweep of Louisiana Tech in what turned out to be the last series of the year.
It goes without saying that Wedge and his staff have a big job in front of them. Restoring Wichita State, a team that went to Omaha seven times between 1982 and 1996, to its former glory won't be easy, and there are legitimate questions to be asked about whether or not it's even possible for Wichita State, in this era, to get back to anything resembling its former self. But what's undeniable is that the 2020 season felt like a step in the right direction and it will be interesting to see how the Shockers look in 2021.
Among the topics discussed on this episode with Eric Wedge are:
- His assessment of his first year on the job
- The strides made by his team in a short period of time
- What clicked for the team that allowed them to go on a 12-game winning streak
- The idea that the story of Wichita State being built up from nothing under Gene Stephenson isn't told enough
- What makes Wichita State special to Wedge
- The advice that Wedge would have for big league managers as they get ready to embark on a 60-game sprint of a season
- What Wedge is most looking forward to when he and his coaching staff are able to work with their players again