Seymour’s Walker signs with Milligan
According to Seymour Eagles baseball coach Scott Norman, it’s all about hard work and extra effort.
And that’s exactly why Seymour senior second baseman Nick Walker signed paperwork to continue his baseball career at Milligan College Thursday afternoon.
Walker, who’s played America’s pastime since he was a 5-year-old on Bower Field, always wanted to play baseball past high school, and, since he’s been on varsity at SHS, he’s done exactly what he needed to do to make that dream a reality.
“Nick Walker is the perfect example of a guy rolling up his sleeves and saying, ‘I’m going to go to work,’” Seymour coach Scott Norman said. “He’s been doing it since he’s been in the program, and it just shows you hard work can get you to play at the next level.”
Walker started out on varsity as a part-time player his sophomore year, coming up from the Eagles junior-varsity program.
“I knew he was one of those guys that’s going to get better,” Norman said. “And you want those guys, you want to give them a little taste (of varsity), even though they may not quite have been ready. You want to see those guys that work their tail off be successful. It’s the old saying, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get.’ That’s a perfect example of Nick Walker.”
A second baseman by trade, Walker moved into a full-time starting role with the Eagles last season. The only problem was, Ben Whisler, the Eagles’ best hitter, played second base.
Walker switched to third.
“Last year we had him at third, kind of out of position, but it was good for him because it made him really have to lengthen his throws a little bit,” Norman said. “Now he’s back at second, and I’m real excited for him.”
Walker began looking for a college home last season, and an email to Milligan got the ball rolling.
“We emailed a bunch of schools,” Walker said. “I’d been down there (at Milligan) and played a couple times in the summer (baseball circuit) and really liked it — the campus is beautiful. They contacted us and wanted us to come down for a visit, so we came down and it just felt like home.”
“Our recruiting coordinator, coach Gordon, found Nick,” Milligan’s coach, Nathan Meade, said. “And we’ve been following him for a little over a year.
“We’re really excited. He’s a quality guy for our program, not just athletically, but academically. He’s just an all-around good fit for us.”
Part of what the Buffaloes like about Walker is his athletic ability.
A quality role player for the Eagles basketball team prior to this season, he gave up hoops to concentrate on baseball this year.
“I quit playing basketball my senior year to concentrate on baseball, because I knew that was my calling,” Walker said. “I missed playing basketball, I love basketball. But baseball’s always been a level up from basketball. I loved playing for coach (Brian) Jessie, but it came down to where I had to have a baseball scholarship. So I ended up having to quit. He understood.”
The Buffaloes also appreciate Walker’s versatility on the diamond.
“That’s part of the attraction for us,” coach Meade said. “We like guys that are athletic and can move around in a pinch, and he fits that mold.”
“(Second base is) where we’ll probably have him starting out. We want to get him in the weight room, and try to get him a little stronger. But I think the sky’s the limit for him.
“Obviously he’s a great player now, but I think he’s going to turn around here in a couple of years and be astonished at the things he’s going to be able to accomplish.”
Coach Norman reiterated the pride he has in Walker’s improvement, ability and work ethic.
“He’s really worked hard, and it shows these other guys that you don’t have to be a 4.5-40 ... or don’t have to be 6-foot-4 and weigh 240 pounds to play at the next level of baseball,” the coach said. “(He’s got) great hands, a good, solid arm. (And) he’s just really slick at second base. He catches the ball well, his arm has improved, and I think he’s got a chance to step in and play (at Milligan) from day one.
“Guys that work hard, you really want them to do well, because they’ve earned it,” Norman said.