Aia Records Feature Former Longhorns


Arizona Interscholastic Association Sports information director Barry Sollenberger updated the Arizona High School Baseball record book to include a pair of former Longhorns.

Steve Welker's six stolen bases in 1977 and Hunter Walden's 17 home runs in the 1998 season have been added to the publication.

In both records, PHS baseball coach Teddy Pettet played a role. He was Walden's coach on the '98 Longhorn baseball team and a teammate of Welker when the Class 2A stolen base record was set in 1977.

"It's so long ago, I don't remember much about it," Pettet said. "But Steve was a good athlete and very quick. He was the quarterback on our football team."

Pettet's memories of Walden's record-setting home run mark that ties him for the 3A mark with Blue Ridge's Cory Lizarraga are much clearer.

"He hit 17 home runs that year and Bryan Zumbro hit 16," Pettet said. "As a team, we had 51 (home runs)."

At the time, Walden's mark was a state record for all school size classifications. The following year, Tempe Desert Vista's Corey Myers slugged 22 home runs to set a new mark.

Walden's feat earned him a mention in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."

A plaque acknowledging SI's recognition is now displayed in Wilson Dome.

As much power as Walden, Zumbro and others provided as juniors, the '98 season was not the Longhorns best.

The Horns earned a state tournament berth but were eliminated by a first round loss to Chino Valley. The winning Chino Valley hurler that day, Andy Pratt, now pitches for the Atlanta Braves' AAA farm club.

The following year, Walden, Zumbro, and an accomplished supporting cast, led the Longhorns to the school's only state baseball championship.

Walden's home run pace dropped off dramatically during the title run mostly because of a knee injury incurred during the basketball season.

Walden went on to play football at Phoenix College and Zumbro continued his baseball career at the Air Force Academy where he is a senior.

Welker is a certified public accountant in Mesa.

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