There are too many aspects of baseball that Dalton Wheat loves for him to pick one favorite.
Soon, he can add playing college baseball to that list. Wheat signed a letter of intent to play for Butler Community College’s baseball team next year.
“It’s pretty much like a dream. It’s every little boy’s dream to keep playing as long as he can,”?Wheat said.
Wheat, a senior leader for the Orioles, said he first went to an Emporia State University hitting camp and was referred to Butler by the coaches. Going to Butler could be a springboard to other schools, but it also means not going too far yet.
“It’s close to home, so I get to stay here, have mom’s cooking,” Wheat said.
Wheat said he’ll likely move to the outfield with the Grizzlies. He’s spent most of this season playing shortstop for the Orioles.
He knows it gets more challenging at the next level, but he’s ready to step up his game.
Being a senior doesn’t automatically make him a leader. Coach Doug?Jefferson said Wheat sets an example on the field.
“Probably the thing that makes him most special in my eyes is he practices just like he plays. Everything is full speed,” said Jefferson. “He does things right.”
Wheat is the third Oriole to sign with college teams this season. Logan Hiser and Joe Cannady also will play at the next level. Wheat said this group is tightly knit, that their friendship bond is strong on and off the field.
“We all get along, and it helps with the game, too,” Wheat said.
Next year, they’ll see each other on the field, but as opponents from different team.
“That’d be fun,” Wheat said.
Wheat plans to start his studies with gen-eds. His parents are Harry and Betty Jo Wheat.