Here’s a Q&A with Wahl that I couldn’t fit into my story that ran in today’s EAGLE:
Contact with coaches?
Coach Lafferty calls and texts almost every day. I talk to him a lot.
Coaching change a surprise?
It’s been a pretty good transition because Coach (Carl) Lafferty, I talk to him a lot because he’s a pitching coach, so me and him right away got along pretty well. With him moving to recruiting coordinator it wasn’t too much of a difference for me. I was really thankful that it was Coach Lafferty that moved into that situation.
Talked to many teams?
During the winter I had over 25 visits from area scouts.
I was an O’s fan, cheering on my boy Cal Ripken.
Pitchers model game after?
A mix between Mariano Rivera & Roy Halladay, if I had to pick two.
Closer, starter? Goal?
I love starting games and I love closing games, too. I just want to be there in the last inning. That’s my goal as a pitcher.
When did OM get on radar?
Fall of my junior year, September/October.
They came by and saw me pitch in Florida at a showcase tournament and asked me to come down for an official visit. It’s pretty cool. I had all the ACC schools talking to me and a few SEC schools. As soon as I visited Ole Miss, they were my favorite by far. I loved everything about the campus, the people, the coaches, facilities and everything. It just really fit me and how I want to play baseball.
I received my first offer right after my sophomore year from Virginia Tech. It was real cool. Virginia Tech is a reeal big university. It was crazy for me to have that coach talk to me one-on-one and hand over an offer.
Clemson, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
I haven’t personally. My brother and my mom have to see what comes up. It’s pretty cool to see that other people notice what I do on the mound.
When did you start playing? When did it hit you could play on next level?
I started playing baseball when I was 3 or 4-years-old in the backyard with my grandpa and I’ve loved it ever since.
Honestly, if you would have asked me my freshman year of college if I was going to go to college and play baseball, I would have laughed. I didn’t think I was that good or that kind of person that could play on the next level. After my sophomore year, people started taking a look at my size and ability. I have a pretty good arm on me and people started taking notice of that. From there it kind of shot off. It didn’t ever really set in to me until after it actually happened.
I always threw the ball pretty hard and then I went to one of the UVA baseball camps and threw the ball 87-88 as a freshman and people started taking notice of that. It was a big deal and other colleges that were at the camp saw that and saw my size. I was a little above 6-foot at that age and it shot off from there. I’m 6-foot-3 1/2 right now, almost 6-foot-4.
Was that bat you used as a kid like one of those Bam-Bam Flinstone bats, like the big orange ones?
It was an Orioles bat and ball that me and my grandpa got. It was one of those kinds of things that came in a package. It was a little wooden bat and a real ball that had Orioles on it.
Why No. 19?
My grandpa was born in 1919, so I wear the number for him.
Sounds like your grandpa has had a big influence on your life.
he was a big mentor to me when I was growing up. I still take his advice today. it’s one of those things where I play the game for him. He means a lot to me.
What do you want coaches/scouts/fans to remember when they see you pitch?
Definitely my competitiveness. I refuse to lose on the mound. Every time I go out there I carry myself as a person. I don’t really lose my cool. I’m really low-tempered and I just go out there and I grind. I have to get that win for the team.
Play/game that stand out?
During Regional semifinals last year. We played a nine inning game. I played nine innings and we ended up winning 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth. I had 16 strikeouts. The last two innings I gave up a couple hits and they’d get on second and third and I’d get out of the jam.
How’d he pop up on radar?
Hats off to Coach (Rob) Reinstettle. He did a tremendous job recruiting him when he was here and (Wahl) is a guy he got in on early.
Nationally he’s made a name for himself with the things he got to do last summer with East Coast Pro and the (Under Armor) showcase up in Chicago. He’s obviously one of those high profile kids.
Thoughts on the draft?
I think Bobby is one of those kids that knows college baseball and getting your education are valuable.
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(June 3, 2010)