Arizona Baseball

Cam Walty brings experience from last season’s Fayetteville regional to elimination game against Dallas Baptist in Tucson

Cam Walty struck out eight batters, allowing two runs off six hits in 8 1/3 innings in a 4-3 walk-off win against Oregon State that clinched the conference title for Arizona in its regular season finale on May 18. (Arizona Athletics)

Arizona senior right-hander Cam Walty (8-1, 2.81 ERA) played two seasons at Nevada, including a three-hit shutout against the Wildcats at Hi Corbett Field in 2022, before transferring to Arizona before the 2023 season.

Arizona head coach Chip Hale says that performance against the Wildcats was a big reason the coaching staff wanted to get him on the roster once he entered the transfer portal.

“He was definitely the guy that when the portal opened, and he was there, we were excited to have a chance to have him,” Hale said. “He’s done nothing but do that for us. He’s pitched when he was not feeling 100% last year at times, and this year, I think that’s been one of the keys. He’s been healthy. He’s a strike thrower, and he’s pitched our biggest games of the year.”

Walty will start for No. 1 seed Arizona (36-22) against No. 2 seed Dallas Baptist (44-14) on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tucson time at Hi Corbett Field in the elimination game of the Tucson regional.

Walty’s decision to transfer to Arizona for his final two seasons after his former head coach at Nevada, TJ Bruce, left for the same position at TCU came down to the Wildcats’ coaching staff.

“That opened the opportunity for me, and I looked at coming here out of high school, so it was kind of a no-brainer with the staff they had now,” Walty said.

Walty says he gained experience starting in the Wildcats’ opener in the regional in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last season, in a 12-4 loss against TCU. It was his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, though he was on Nevada’s roster when the Wolfpack appeared in the NCAA Tournament in his freshman season.

He looks forward to pitching in a regional at Hi Corbett Field in front of Arizona fans on Saturday.

“It was a learning experience for me,” Walty said of the regional appearance in Fayetteville last season. “Just having the ability to have this one at home is going to be a very big deal, he said. “It’s going to be very cool to be able to pitch in front of the fans.”

Walty went 5-1 with a 5.53 ERA in 2023. This season, he has been depended on to pitch deeper into games. He pitched 8 1/3 innings in Arizona’s Pac-12 regular season title-clinching win over Oregon State on May 18 and eight innings against USC in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game on May 25.

His longevity in games this season hasn’t affected his approach.

“I think the main thing for me is just being able to still be effective, and that’s what’s allowed me to go into the games deeper,” Walty said. “It’s just trusting my stuff and having the ability to prolong it pretty much into the games and allow me to go longer.”

Dallas Baptist is starting right-hander Jaron DeBerry (6-1, 3.75) on Saturday.

Hale isn’t too worried about the quick turnaround against Dallas Baptist in the elimination game on Saturday afternoon following a 9-4 loss to Grand Canyon on the first day of the regional Friday night.

“Listen, it’s our home stadium. We’re lucky we have our clubhouse. We play night games and a Sunday day game in our league throughout the year, so it is what it is,” Hale said. “Cam Walty’s pitching. He’s a guy, and that’s all we have to worry about is just coming and playing tomorrow. After that, we’ll see what happens, but we can’t go out playing like this.”

FOLLOW @KEVINMURFEE ON TWITTER! writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

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