Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Byng senior Reid Wall, the ace of the Pirate pitching staff for the past two seasons, has decided to take his talents to Stillwater.
Wall officially signed a letter-of-intent last Thursday to play baseball at Oklahoma State University.
“He’s worked hard, and he’s earned the privilege to get to go play a school like OSU. He had his choice of several different schools. I think it was a good choice for him,” said Byng head baseball coach Shawn Streater. “It’s close to home, and his parents can watch him play. I think he’ll make a good pitcher for them.”
Wall had plenty of options. Texas Tech, New Mexico, Wichita State and Oral Roberts all came calling. And big-name junior colleges such as Seminole State, Cowley County and Eastern Oklahoma State were also competing for his services, among plenty of others.
Streater said if Wall continues to work hard, he’ll have a chance to compete at the next level.
“He’s a good enough player, and he has the skill set that will transfer over (from high school to college). I think he has a good chance to be successful at the next level,” he said.
Wall won five of his six starts this past fall and appeared in nine games for the Pirates. In 44 innings of work, he struck out 73 and walked just 12 batters. He ended up with a minuscule 1.20 ERA.
“He’s thrown well. Any time he throws, it gives us a great chance to win,” Streater said.
Why Oklahoma State?
“The deciding factors were definitely just the hype surrounding Oklahoma State baseball right now. With them bringing in the fourth overall recruiting class in the nation this year, and my class having the potential to be even better, was a big reason,” Wall said.
Wall is also impressed with OSU head coach Josh Holliday and his group of assistants, including pitching coach Rob Walton.
“The other thing was definitely the coaching staff. Josh Holliday knows what he is doing, he's got coach Walton who's one of — if not the best — pitching coach in the nation, and Marty Lees, who's already got two national championships at Oregon State,” he said. “That’s just a winning combination, and I love to win so it really made my decision easy.”
Oklahoma State is losing two starter pitchers and a closer after this spring, and Wall hopes to slide right in to one of those spots on the Cowboys’ roster.
“In the baseball world nothing is given, everything is earned ... but they expect me to come in right away and compete for one of those spots,” Wall said.
Wall has also been one of Byng’s top hitters and isn’t ruling out taking some cuts for the Cowboys.
“As for swinging it, that’s a decision that I will have to make on whether I want to focus on my craft on the bump or try and be a two-way guy, which is very difficult at that level. But yes, the opportunity is there,” he said.
Wall is just happy to be given the opportunity to prove himself to the OSU coaches and Cowboy fans.
“I think the thing I’m looking forward to the most is just that first time I get on the bump and get to go show people what I can do,” he said.