Texas outfielder to miss season with torn ACL


John Smith

Outfielder Cohl Walla swings at a pitch. Walla tore his ACL in a collision during practice last week and isn’t expected to play this season. He hit .229 last season.

Christian Corona

Junior outfielder Cohl Walla has torn his ACL and will miss this upcoming season.

The injury took place during a collision in the outfield during a practice last week.

Walla played in 50 games last season, batting .229 and notching 18 RBI. The former two-sport star at Lake Travis enjoyed a much better freshman campaign, hitting .316 while racking up eight home runs, 20 extra-base hits, 14 stolen bases and posting a .491 slugging percentage.

Walla earned a spot on Baseball America's second-team freshman All-American team in 2010 and checked in at No. 65 on College Baseball Daily's preseason list of 2011 Top 100 college baseball players, joining teammates Taylor Jungmann and Cole Green.

The Longhorns were set to bring back all three of their starting outfielders with sophomore right fielder Mark Payton and junior left fielder Jonathan Walsh returning to Austin this year. The vacancy in center field could be filled by a few players. Senior outfielder Tim Maitland, who has been used as a defensive replacement most of his first three years at Texas, has batted .190, driven in nine runs and registered one extra-base hit in 79 career at-bats.

Two new players could also fill the void left by Walla in freshman Collin Shaw and junior college transfer Matt Moynihan, who has two years of eligibility left but has not yet been cleared academically. Shaw, like Walla, is a local product who lettered in both football and baseball in high school.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Shaw batted .487 and hit seven home runs as a senior for Westlake, earning him second-team All-State honors while garnering All-District accolades as a wide receiver for the Chaparrals during his junior and senior seasons. Walla, who was taken in the 43rd round by the Washington Nationals after graduating from Lake Travis was also a high school wideout. He caught 65 passes for 1,009 yards and 12 touchdowns — from former Longhorn quarterback Garrett Gilbert ­— during the Cavaliers' 2007 state title run, the first of five consecutive championships.

Printed on Monday, February 6, 2012 as: Walla likely to miss season with knee injury