EDWARDSVILLE — SIUE baseball has added a pair of transfer pitchers for the 2017 season. Juniors Brock Fulkerson of Mount Vernon and Tristan Walters of Canton, Ill., will join the Cougars in the fall.
“Both of these guys are extremely competitive pitchers who will pound the strike zone,” SIUE Coach Danny Jackson said. “They are going to make our program a lot better.”
Fulkerson is a 6-foot, 6-inch, 175-pound pitcher who comes to SIUE from Rend Lake College. The right-hander has made 10 starts for Rend Lake this season and is 6-4 with a 3.90 earned run average. In 67 innings pitched, he has 58 strikeouts and just eight walks. Fulkerson is averaging 7.79 strikeouts per nine innings.
As a freshman, Fulkerson was an All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference first team selection. He made 10 appearances and two starts and was 3-1. His 2.71 ERA was the lowest in the GRAC. He collected 45 strikeouts while walking nine in 63 innings pitched.
“He is your prototypical projectable pitcher,” Jackson said. “At 6-6, he’s tall, throws downhill and throws all his pitches for strikes. He’s had great numbers in his two years at Rend Lake. He will come in and compete for a weekend rotation spot.”
A first team All-Big Eight Conference selection as a junior and senior at Mount Vernon Township High School, Fulkerson was the conference co-Most Valuable Player as a junior.
Walters, 6-0, 175, also is a right-handed pitcher who also can play the infield. Walters comes to SIUE from Kankakee Community College. He is 6-2 in nine appearances for Kankakee this season. In 50.1 innings, he has struck out 53 hitters. In 54 at-bats, Walters has a .296 batting average with a home run and 13 runs batted in. He was 3-3 in 19 appearances as a freshman. He also hit .261 with six doubles and 15 RBIs in 138 at-bats.
“Tristan is the same way — he’s going to come out every day and attack hitters,” Jackson added. “Tristan throws in the mid- to upper-80s. He throws all his pitches for strikes. He has good success this year too.”
While at Canton High School, Walters earned All-Area and All-Mid Illini Conference first team honors as a pitcher as a senior. He was a second-team All-Mid Illini Conference selection as a shortstop his junior year.
“With the way we plan to play defense here all we need is guys to come in, challenge hitters and make them put the ball in play,” Jackson said. “Both of these guys do a great job of that.”
Jackson explained why junior college transfers have success at Division I programs.
“They are a little more developed physically, and they are a more used to the speed of the game,” he said. “From high school to Division I it’s a bit of a jump, but for the junior college guys it is not that big of a jump.”