Alabama baseball starter Jake Walters is closing in on a career milestone in his senior season. He has 48 career starts, just four shy of tying Alabama’s all-time record of 52 career starts.
That record was set by lefty Mike Sodders, who pitched at Alabama from 1985-88 before a professional career that extended almost a decade.
Walters has a strong chance of tying the record. He hasn’t missed a start this season and Alabama has four weekend series remaining. To break the record, Alabama would likely need to make the SEC tournament to give Walters a fifth start.
He has missed just one start in the last three seasons. Walters has started a game in all 10 weekend series this season, missed one start as a junior and made 15 starts as a sophomore, including one in the SEC tournament.
Walters’ longevity and durability has him moving up in Alabama’s record books elsewhere as well. He’s tied with Sodders for fourth all-time with 274 career strikeouts. Finishing the season healthy should move him into third place all-time (Lance Cormier, 289 strikeouts) and could move him as high as second (Brent Carter, 307 strikeouts). He’s ninth in school history with 268 career innings and has a strong chance of climbing into the top five on that list.
Sodders also holds the all-time record for losses at Alabama with 22, while Walters is second with 18.
He made his first career start on March 17, 2015 as a true freshman against Samford. By the end of the season he had worked his way into the weekend rotation, and he continued to develop as a sophomore. His 2016 campaign was the best of his career so far, going 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA. He was 5-5 in 2017 and is 16-18 overall in his career.