Former Walker High pitchers Knighton, Kamplain taken in MLB draft
by Johnathan Bentley
Jun 08, 2014 | 3403 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Saturday was a big day for the Walker High School baseball program.

A pair of former Walker pitchers were taken in day three of the 2014 MLB draft.

Central Alabama Community College pitcher John Michael Knighton, a 2012 Walker High graduate, went to the Chicago Cubs in the 17th round while Alabama's Justin Kamplain, a 2011 Walker High graduate, went in the 18th round to the New York Yankees.

"This has been just a special day for the Walker baseball program, to have two former Vikings selected in the Major League Baseball draft," said Walker baseball coach Pat Ware, who coached both Knighton and Kamplain as members of the Vikings.

"As their former coach, I personally could not be any prouder of them for this great accomplishment that both Kamp and JM have achieved. It's something special that current and former players and coaches can be proud of."

Knighton, who was selected as the 499th pick of the draft, is coming off a stellar career at Central Alabama, located in Alexander City.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-handed pitcher led Central Alabama to the JUCO College World Series as a freshman, going 12-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings. While his record wasn't as impressive in his sophomore season, Knighton's overall numbers improved. He was 5-6 this season with a 2.02 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 84 2/3 innings.

In his two-year college career, Knighton was 17-9 with a 2.33 ERA.

Kamplain completed his junior season with the Crimson Tide last week.

The 6-foot, 170-pound lefty was one of Alabama's top starting pitchers this season. He started 15 games and finished 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA and a team high 69 strikeouts in 90 innings. He held opponents to a .205 batting average.

Kamplain was originally taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft, but opted to play at Alabama. On Saturday, he went to the Yankees with the 542nd pick of the draft.

He was part of Alabama's first no-hitter in 78 years on March 8. Kamplain went the first seven innings against Mississippi Valley State, striking out 12.

In his three year college career, Kamplain was 9-7 with a 3.64 ERA.