Christian Walker says 'it's a relief' after his first major league hit Wednesday

September 18, 2014|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

First baseman Christian Walker was called up to a division-winning team in September to help give some players a break in the final 10 days of the season.

Walker, 23, immediately was inserted into the Orioles' lineup Wednesday night. He struck out in his first at-bat and hit a flyout in his second.

But in his third trip to the plate, in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ, Walker laced a double down the left-field line for his first major league hit.

“It was exciting, you know. It was awesome,” said Walker, the organization’s 2014 minor league player of the year. “It’s obviously why a big part of my game is hitting. And for good things to happen like that, it’s a good feeling.”

Walker said about 10 friends and family members came down from his hometown of Limerick, Pa., for his debut. He said his father likely will take the baseball from his first hit back home after it’s authenticated.

“It’s a relief to get that first one out of the way, for sure. Hopefully it’s the first of many,” said Walker, who added that he wasn’t nervous in his first game. “Anxious, for sure. I just wanted the game to get started and get underway and get out there. Instincts took over, and it was a lot of fun.”

It was a good night for former University of South Carolina Gamecocks. Besides Walker, a fourth-round pick from the school in 2012, Steve Pearce also went to South Carolina, a baseball powerhouse. Pearce had two homers Wednesday, and a good seat for Walker’s first hit.

“That’s amazing. I was pulling for him so hard,” Pearce said of Walker. “I told him, I wish they would have called you up one day earlier, so that I could celebrate with you. I’m glad he’s here. He’s a great kid, a great player.”

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

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