Around college baseball, Oklahoma State pitching coach Rob Walton has a nickname, "Wizard." The nickname is well earned as Walton is somewhat of a pitcher whisperer or if you talk to the pitchers they may say sometimes he is louder than a whisper, much louder. However, most of the time he seems very calm, reserved and in control of his pitchers.
Head coach Josh Holliday said he believes deeply in Walton's process and his decisions. One that caught a lot of OSU baseball fans and observers off guard was the move in the Clemson Regional to start the closer for most of the season, Tyler Buffett, in game two against Clemson.
Buffett had struggled in the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City as he was a main contributor to TCU and then Texas exploding for nine-run eighth inning offensive efforts to send the Cowboys home for the weekend. Many wondered if Buffett would be able to come out of the bullpen and be effective, much less start and win a game in the regional and the clinching game against South Carolina in the Super Regional.
Walton had it planned, and Holliday and, most important, Tyler Buffett bought in.
The head coach and the pitcher, who was also drafted in the seventh round by the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft, both commented on the surprising but very successful plan.