Northwoods League: Allday sets walk record
WILLMAR -- There was no way Willmar Stingers' outfielder Forrestt Allday was going to swing on 3-0.
Allday entered Thursday's game tied at 60 for the Northwoods League single-season walk record, and took three straight balls to lead off the game against Duluth Huskies' pitcher Max MacNabb.
MacNabb's fourth pitch missed the strike zone and Allday took his 61st free pass of the season.
"I wasn't going to swing until 3-2," Allday said. "I had been (tied) for a couple games and finally got it."
Allday was erased on a double play after his record-setting walk, but drew two more walks in the fourth and eighth innings for good measure.
"It feels good (to set the record)," he said. "I think people should appreciate walks more, to be honest. Getting on base, that's what you really need to do."
Stingers' manager Matt Hollod said he thought the record was incredible.
"He's on pace to not only break it, but shatter it," Hollod said. "He could get 85 walks. It's not one of those records that fans get excited about like home runs, but in terms of being a coach it's pretty important because it means his on-base percentage is really high. That's why he hits at the top of our order, because he gets on base a lot. I think it's a great record."
He broke the previous single-season record of 60, which was set by Alexandria's Ben Magsig in 2011.
The walk total has pushed Allday to second in the Northwoods League this season with a .485 on-base percentage. He's batting .289 with 14 stolen bases and one home run, usually batting in the leadoff or No. 2 spots for the Stingers.
Allday said he just goes to the plate trying to have a good at-bat.
"Sometimes like the first at-bat I was just trying to see a lot of pitches, but I'm not ever trying to walk," he said.
Hollod said Allday has a good eye, but more importantly he can wear a pitcher out.
"He fouls off a lot of pitches that are borderline to keep the count going and put pressure on the pitcher," Hollod said.
Allday, a junior out of Central Arkansas, tied for sixth in the nation in Division I last season with 57 walks. His eye at the plate also helped him to a .486 on-base percentage, which was good for 13th in Division I. Allday hit .324 for UCA and led the team with 49 runs scored. His performance earned him a spot on the All-Southland Conference Second Team.