RH: Cornblum wants to build on a strong summer

The Round House | 09/04/2021 14:27:00

Through Paul Suellentrop

Summer baseball often puts a hitter on its own. Most of the instructions and improvements come from within.

“You become your best coach,” Wichita State outfielder Cut Cornblum noted. “When you come back here you can feel more relaxed in the box and make adjustments faster.”

The main educational tool is the wooden bat. Wooden bats expose holes in the swings and poor timing, forcing hitters to hit the ball solidly to earn a reward.

“You get a lot of quick feedback with a wooden bat,” Cornblum said. “If you get stuck you’ll know you’re stuck and doing something wrong with your swing and your bat is lagging behind. Sometimes with a metal bat you can get away with it a bit easier. “

Cornblum has received a lot of good returns over the summer in the Northwoods League. He hit .320 with nine doubles and 12 steals in 42 games for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.

The Shockers began team training for fall on Thursday, kicking off the coach Eric Wedgeis the third season. Wichita State went 31-23 last season and fires the All-American Athletic Conference first baseman Garrett kocis, All-American freshman pitcher Jace kaminska and five other positional players who started 20 or more games in 2021.

Coaches consider the summer to be a baseball camp. Hitting with a wooden bat and playing high profile competitions across the country can improve college performance and indicate professional ability.

“It’s a free season for them to go out and get better,” Wedge said. “Then they can bring that in the fall and the spring.”

Cornblum, who played in both center and right field, reached 0.285 last season with five doubles, five triples and 12 steals. After the season, coaches told him to work on developing more power by staying behind the ball and using his hips and legs.

After hitting 0.250 in their first 22 games, Cornblum has reached 0.320 in the last 24 games of the season.

“We wanted to continue and try to be as consistent as possible with what I was doing,” he said. “I stood up a bit more to help free my hands and allow myself more use of my back. Get more power, increase my hand speed. They talk a lot about hand speed here.”

Stats with a wooden bat count for Wedge.

“It’s true,” he said. “There’s a little sweet spot. We’re talking about throwing the ball up. We’re talking about getting the head of the bat to touch the baseball, and that’s a real thing.”

Turners such as infielder Kocis Jack Sigrist and seeker Ross Cadena mix with the newcomers to give the Shockers a sense of missing continuity during the transition to Wedge and the COVID-19 pandemic. Wichita State will face Cowley College (September 13) and Team Canada (September 27) before starting all five games of the Fall World Series on October 9.

Wedge enjoys the physical stature of his incoming class and is delighted that veterans such as Kocis, Cadena and Sigrist are back to guide and interpret for the rookies.

“This is what this program has been for all these years – you want people to come here before you to show you the way and understand what it’s all about,” Wedge said.

Paul Suellentrop covers Wichita State Athletics and the American Athletic Conference for University Strategic Communications. History suggestion? Contact him at [email protected]

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