Oklahoma State baseball: Donnie Walton proves himself

Freshman son of OSU pitching coach has solidified middle infield.
by John Helsley Modified: May 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm •  Published: May 29, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State freshman infielder Donnie Walton poses for a photo before the team leaves for its regional in Louisville on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Stillwater, Okla.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State freshman infielder Donnie Walton poses for a photo before the team leaves for its regional in Louisville on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Stillwater, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

“He's a real team-oriented guy, which you can see form all his sacrifice bunts and other things. And you need that on a team.”

The Cowboys have definitely needed young Walton.

With no experienced middle infielders on the roster back in the fall, OSU's up-the-middle defense was a major concern. But the pieces have fallen into place, with senior Randy McCurry's career revival providing a surprise answer at shortstop, and Walton's superb play at second solidifying one of the league's best defensive infields.

It's hard to picture the team without the young Walton, although it was never the plan for him to go to OSU.

Originally, the coach's son was headed to ORU. Yet when dad — a finalist for the Cowboys' head coaching job — made the unselfish move to join Holliday back at their alma mater as pitching coach, Donnie followed.

And fit right in.

“I was trying to prove that I can play, doing whatever I can for the team,” he said. “Whether that was me waiting for my turn, or where I'm at right now.

“I know the seniors, Victor Romero especially, they took me in and said, ‘You've proved yourself. You don't have to think anymore about being a coach's son. You're part of the family.'”

And he's proven himself over and over, revealing a toughness in bouncing back from two knee surgeries in the winter, as well as a broken finger.

“He's earned all his stripes on his own,” Holliday said. “He's very well received by his teammates, a very popular kid and amazingly likable. And he's been one of our more consistent, clutch players all year long. He's been fantastic.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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