Junior Christian Walker isn’t particularly quick on the base paths. That’s pretty clear. To make matters worse, he was incredibly indecisive as a runner in the seventh inning.
Usually that’s a rally killer recipe.
But Walker — and the Gamecocks — were fortunate, catching a couple breaks and tying the game at 1-1 as we head to the eighth inning.
Walker does deserve lots of credit. The reason he was on base? The SC slugger drew a 12-pitch walk to lead off the frame.
With one out, South Carolina coach Ray Tanner gambled a bit, calling a hit-and-run. But it worked perfectly. Right fielder Adam Matthews bounced a softly hit single between the first and second basemen — the baseball moved so slowly that Walker had time to stop at second (forgot to locate his third-base coach momentarily), and then restart and make it to third.
Up next: Designated hitter Kyle Martin. His swinging bunt was fielded by Brandon Dixon, but the Arizona first baseman never looked home — Walker didn’t go on contact and wouldn’t have made it in time (with a good throw). Instead, Dixon got Martin at first and Walker slid in safely at home.
Not exactly base-running brilliance by Walker. But it got the job done.