Former Derby star pitcher Grant Adler announces return to Wichita State baseball

A former Derby star pitcher who began his career with the Wichita State baseball team has decided to finish it with the Shockers.

After spending this past season at Kansas, Grant Adler announced Thursday evening his plans of transferring back to Wichita State to complete his final year of eligibility.

Adler, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, excelled with the Shockers during the 2023 season, compiling a 5-4 record with a 2.55 earned run average and 75 strikeouts to just 23 walks in 14 starts. In his lone season at WSU, Adler was named the American Athletic Conference Newcomer Pitcher of the Year with his best performance coming in a complete-game shutout against No. 7-ranked East Carolina.

He wasn’t the only former Shocker pitcher interested in returning, as Jace Miner, who played for WSU from 2022-23, announced Friday afternoon that he also plans to finish his career at WSU. Miner, a 6-foot-3 left-hander, was a dominant bullpen arm for the Shockers in 2023, holding a 2.05 ERA in 44 innings.

But when interim head coach Loren Hibbs was not retained by WSU, Adler and Miner were part of a mass exodus to depart the program last summer.

Adler was tabbed as the No. 80 impact transfer for the 2024 season by D1Baseball, but an injury limited him to just 7⅓ innings of work this past season in Lawrence. He did not appear in a game after March 2. Miner also saw limited playing time at OU, making just nine appearances and throwing 7⅓ innings.

A reunion at Eck Stadium makes sense for all sides. For Adler and Miner, they will both be strong contenders for a weekend rotation spot for a program on the rise under new head coach Brian Green. For the Shockers, they desperately need an influx of talent on the mound after the graduation of ace Caden Favors and burgeoning star Tommy LaPour exiting via the transfer portal.

Adler has a long line of history of being an ace pitcher, dating back to his high school days for Derby. He also finished with a 19-2 record during his time at Cowley College, where he helped power the Tigers to a runner-up finish in the 2022 NJCAA Division I World Series.