Evan Wallace talks about his verbal commitment to UC Irvine
Buchanan’s Evan Wallace was the latest Bear to give his college verbal commitment. The utility man gave his pledge to UC Irvine on Wednesday afternoon, but the decision was announced Thursday via his Twitter page.
Because of his ability to play everywhere in the field and his upside as a do-it-all guy at the plate, Wallace made himself into one of the section’s best prospects in the 2022 class.
“It feels like all the work I’ve put in has finally paid off,” Wallace said. “The work my family and others have put in for me has paid off, too. It’s a great feeling, but we all understand that this is the beginning of a new chapter and that there’s a lot more work to be done.”
Wallace was considering a handful of different options, but in addition to the school, it was the location that eventually won out in the end for the 5’10, 165 pound prospect.
“It’s a beautiful campus in a great area thats right next to Newport Beach. I am very familiar with the area,” Wallace explained. “The baseball [in the Big West] is very competitive and I feel that I will get better in that program and also have a chance to play in the College World Series.”
During his sophomore campaign in 2020, Wallace showed that he has the skills to play wherever the team needed him. Not only did he appear in each outfield spot last season, but Wallace also got time at third base along with second base. He also got innings on the mound late in games with his ability to consistently attack the strike zone.
As for what the future holds in Irvine, outfield may be on the horizon.
“I am able to play outfield and infield, sometimes I may be called on to pitch. I’m ready to play wherever the team needs me,” Wallace said. “It’s good for the coaches to know that I can play everywhere and they can put me in the lineup wherever I’m needed. At UC Irvine we talked about me playing the outfield, mostly because the outfield is so big they need someone with my speed to track down balls in the gaps”
Much like his fielding ability, Wallace’s spot in the batting lineup can be fluid. There were times when he hit leadoff and sometimes he found himself in the middle of the order. One of his best qualities, though, is his ferocity on the base paths as he’s always looking to take the extra base and make things happen.
“At the plate I have the power to drive balls into the gaps and use my speed to leg out a triple. I can also use small ball if the situation calls for it. I would describe myself as a gap to gap hitter who can also hit in situationally to get a job done by moving a runner over, laying down a bunt or even stealing a base to get into scoring position.”
Wallace is the second class of 2022 prospect to give his verbal commitment from Buchanan, joining Jett Ruby who pulled the trigger to Fresno State earlier this summer. Other Bears committed include Josh Williams (UCSB), Temo Becerra (Stanford), and Austin Young (Fresno State).
“The Buchanan baseball program does a very good job of getting us prepared for the next level. Our expectation is to win league and then go on to win section, state, or even a national championship. We have the talent to do that.”