Four Shockers Preseason All-AAC, Rodden POTY

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State pitcher Cameron Bye, outfielder Chuck Ingram, designated hitter Payton Tolle and second baseman Brock Rodden were all named to the American Athletic Conference Preseason All-Conference Team, the league announced Wednesday. Rodden was also selected as the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year.

The four selections are the most by any team in the conference. The Shockers are picked to finish fifth in the league’s preseason poll.

Bye, Ingram and Rodden were each named to the American Postseason All-Conference teams in 2022. It is the first preseason all-conference honor for all four players.

Bye emerged as one of the conference’s top arms a season ago despite opening the campaign working out of the bullpen. The junior right-hander finished 5-2 with a 3.76 ERA over the course of 17 games and 10 starts and pitched in more than half of Wichita State’s wins. He did not allow an earned run in his first 24.2 innings of the season and gave up just one over his first 40.2 frames, good for a 0.24 ERA that led the nation into the second week of April.

The native of Euless, Texas held down some of the league’s best offenses in AAC play, blanking East Carolina over eight dominant innings with eight strikeouts and allowing just one earned run over 7.1 frames vs. Houston. He also surrendered just a single unearned run over six innings in a win against Creighton. All told, Bye finished the year with 62 strikeouts in 67.0 innings, allowing only 57 hits and 32 walks.

Ingram exploded onto the scene in 2022 with a dynamic season, slashing .310/.362/.582 with 13 doubles, four triples and 14 home runs. He drove in a team-leading 53 runs despite batting leadoff in 29 of his 55 starts. The junior slugger added patience to his plate approach, more than quadrupling his walk total from 2021 to 2022, and crushed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .443 batting average.

The Kansas City native had some of the most impressive single performances of the 2022 season for the Shockers, including a five-hit game against New Mexico, a six-RBI day at Memphis, and a four-hit, four-RBI outing at South Florida. He finished the year with 19 multi-hit games and led the Shockers with 14 multi-RBI games. Ingram also solidified center field defensively, committing just two errors.

Tolle hit .317 with seven doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI in addition to his work in the Wichita State weekend rotation. The first of those three home runs was one of the most significant swings of the season, a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning against Texas A&M that helped the Shockers win the Frisco Classic. Tolle was named Frisco Classic MVP, having already delivered a game-tying, three-run double in the sixth inning two days earlier against Iowa and a quality start on the mound the following day against Washington State.

The native of Yukon, Okla., put together consecutive four-hit games late in the season against Tulane and Oklahoma, driving in seven combined runs in the process. Tolle was at his best against Sooner State opposition, recording two multi-hit games against Oral Roberts and a two-hit performance at Oklahoma State. He finished the campaign with hits in seven of his final eight games.

Rodden led the Shockers in batting average (.338), on-base percentage (.441) and slugging percentage (.653) in his first season in the Black and Yellow. The switch-hitter finished the season atop the American Athletic Conference with 141 total bases, also ranking in the top five in hits, runs scored and home runs. His 21 multi-hit games paced the Shockers squad, including nine three-hit games. The native of Oktaha, Okla., demonstrated remarkable plate discipline, drawing 39 walks while striking out 37 times.

Rodden was recently named Third Team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, adding to his growing list of accolades from the 2022 season (ABCA Second Team All-Central Region, American Athletic Conference Newcomer Position Player of the Year, First Team All-American Athletic Conference). He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign and elected to return for his junior season.

The Shockers open the season on February 17 at Long Beach State, with the home opener at Eck Stadium scheduled for March 3 vs. Oakland. For ticket information, call 978-3267 or click HERE.

Preseason Coaches Poll First-place votes in parentheses
East Carolina (7) — 49
Houston — 39
UCF — 38
Tulane — 26
Wichita State — 24
South Florida (1) — 21
Cincinnati — 19
Memphis — 8

Preseason Player of the Year
Brock Rodden, Jr., 2B, Wichita State

Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Carter Spivey, Sr., East Carolina*

Preseason All-Conference Team
P – Ben Vespi, Jr., UCF
P – Carter Spivey, Sr., East Carolina*
P – Dylan Carmouche, Jr., Tulane
P – Cameron Bye, Jr., Wichita State
RP – Kyle Kramer, R-Sr., UCF
C – Anthony Tulimero, R-Jr., Houston
1B – Ryan Nicholson, R-Jr., Cincinnati
2B – Brock Rodden, Jr., Wichita State*
SS – Ian McMillan, R-Sr., Houston*
3B – Zach Arnold, R-Jr., Houston
OF – Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, So., East Carolina*
OF – Drew Brutcher, Jr., South Florida
OF – Chuck Ingram, Jr., Wichita State
DH – Payton Tolle, So., Wichita State
* denotes unanimous selection