Greensburg Salem's Walor earns All-American status
Two years ago Brad Walor was a bit player on the Greensburg Salem varsity baseball team who could not crack the starting lineup.
Today he's an All-American.
Walor was selected to the third team of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III All-America list. He was the lone member of the Westmoreland County Community College chosen for the team.
"It was pretty awesome. I never thought anything like that would ever happen to me," Walor said. "In high school we had a really good team with a lot of good young players ... but I never felt comfortable and on my own and I guess I was just a late bloomer."
In 2010, the sophomore first baseman hit a team-leading .404 with 19 RBI and 26 runs scored. He also led the Wolfpack with 36 hits and was tied for the lead with nine doubles.
"Brad was just one of those kids that just kind of flew under the radar ... but he put up numbers worthy of All-American status and he was a very hard worker," Westmoreland County Community College coach Mike Draghi said. "He's done a lot of things over the last couple of years to make himself a better player, so he's very deserving in that respect."
Putting up offensive numbers was never the issue with Walor; he could always hit. His overall approach to the game was what needed work, and he subsequently spent a considerable amount of time confronting that particular issue.
"I finally got the mental aspect of the game," Walor said. "I could always hit and the coaches knew I could hit, but I became more selective when I understood the mental part of the game and I finally learned how to hit and that's the biggest thing."
He also learned how to become a solid first baseman. Though he committed five errors in 31 games, his defensive game has improved dramatically in the past two seasons.
"He was getting the repetitions in practice and being able to take 100 ground balls in practice every day helped him learn a little bit more about playing first base and working on his lateral movement," Draghi said. "I think his lateral movement improved because he physically got himself in better shape over a two year period and I'd venture to say he lost 15 or 20 pounds."
Try 40. Walor weighed in at 230 pounds when he was in high school, but he went on a diet and exercise regimen in the fall and dropped to under 190.
"We have a pretty good workout at Three-Cs and we did pushups every day and that helped me to lose like 30-some pounds," Walor said. "I wanted to get to 200 before we went on our spring trip to Myrtle beach and I beat that so I was pretty happy."
At this point he plans to take his improved play — and new physique — to Pitt-Greensburg next spring. If his improvement at WCCC is any indication, he should be able to contribute quickly despite moving up from the NJCAA to NCAA Division III.
"The big thing is that he's got a passion to play game and to get better," Draghi said. "He did a good job over a two-year period with us."