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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) – When Dan Fitzgerald took over the Kansas baseball program in June, he built up his roster from the transfer portal. That’s paved the way for a lot of local talent to enter the program.

“Growing up I always wanted to be a Kansas Jayhawk,” said junior RHP Hunter Cashero, a Shawnee, KS native. “Throughout high school, I tried to reach out to Coach Price, and I’ve always wanted to come here.”

After spending time at Kansas City Kansas Community College, Cashero was finally given the chance to become a Jayhawk when Coach Fitzgerald and his staff took over.

“Man, it’s finally settling in. I’m a Kansas Jayhawk baseball player, it’s awesome,” he added.

Cashero’s not the only local transfer Coach Fitz has brought in. Junior RHP and Shawnee native JJ Tylicki recognizes the opportunity he’s been given as well.

“Getting the opportunity that a lot of people don’t, playing at the DI level, and especially Big 12 baseball, it’s pretty good,” said Tylicki. “I mean it’s awesome.”

Coach Fitz even managed to bring a Lawrence guy back to town from the Big Ten. Junior LHP Ethan Bradford thought KU was the perfect fit after his time at Nebraska.

“I felt like I just needed a new change of scenery leaving Nebraska,” said Bradford. “I felt like coming here and getting to know the coaches, they genuinely care about every player. They want everybody to succeed.”

This new staff has already made it a priority to recruit from Northeast Kansas at the high school, junior college, and DI levels.

“We’re looking for the best future Jayhawks,” said Coach Fitzgerald. “Kansas is a rich baseball state, our region is a rich baseball region. All 4 of us [coaches] have background in junior college baseball as well, and we’ve had success with bringing some really good JUCO guys here too.”

But it’s not just local guys joining the Crimson and Blue. Coach Fitz spent his last year at LSU, and his dedication to his players has brought some former Tigers, like infielder Collier Cranford, over to Lawrence.

“Obviously I had a great relationship with him,” said Cranford. “That’s one of the biggest reasons why i came up here. He’s just a great human being. I trust him with my life. He’s just a really standup guy, and I really appreciate that about him.”

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