MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – From the Mountain West Conference to the Big 12 Conference. When Landon Wallace took a step up in competition, his game followed suit.
Last year at Nevada, he tallied five home runs, eight doubles, and 34 RBI through 50 games.
In his first season at WVU, Wallace has already matched his home run and double totals from 2022. He’s also at 32 hits and 22 runs batted in through 31 games.
When the Roseville, California native decided to transfer, he was looking for a program that would help him grow. It only took a short amount of time for that transformation to begin in Morgantown.
“I really liked the tools to help get me better and to help get me to where I want to be,” Wallace said. “I am very thankful to have been accepted here. I truly believe this place has helped me become way better.”
Competing in a conference that houses some of the top pitchers in the nation was also enticing to Wallace.
“They have good stuff, so they are going to attack you. I personally like that better,” Wallace said. “It’s your best stuff versus me, come get me.”
Wallace has gotten the better of opposing pitchers who have chosen to attack him as of late.
Through the past eight games, he has totaled 11 hits, started a six-game hitting streak, and collected 11 RBI. He has hit four home runs over that span, too. Two of them came in Sunday’s finale vs. Kansas.
With Wallace’s speed, he has been successful on all 10 of his stolen base attempts this year. For much of this season, Wallace has hit from the middle of the Mountaineers’ batting order, the same spots in the lineup he was in, while playing at Nevada.
However, one of Randy Mazey’s lineup changes for the KU series was moving Wallace to the two-hole.
Braden Barry started the year as the leadoff hitter and then was moved to No. 2 behind JJ Wetherholt three weeks ago. With Wallace’s move toward the top, Barry is now in the No. 5 spot.
The skipper told Barry the move wasn’t a product of Barry not playing well but because Wallace was on a tear.
“To get Landon up there, he’s pretty hot right now, and if you want to pitch around JJ, you’re going to have to face Landon,” Mazey said. “He’s starting to settle in and do pretty well.
Wallace came to WVU with his sights set on becoming a better all-around baseball player. The outfielder has shown those changes are paying off, and he’s appreciative there is a passionate fan base that gets to watch and support his progress along the way.
“The fans really help. At my old school, we did have fans but not like this right here,” Wallace said. “I love it.”