Chris Williams was named one of four national players of the week by Collegiate Baseball on Tuesday. Even with all of the excitement around being named a national player of the week, obviously Clemson’s first baseman remains focused on one thing – this weekend’s Clemson Regional.
Williams went 7-for-10 at the plate during the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship last week with three home runs, two doubles, 10 RBIs and six runs scored as the Tigers advanced to the semifinal round.
It’s no surprise that Williams has gotten hot at the right time of the year, and it’s not because he’s taking superstitious precautions before he steps up to the plate.
“At the ACC tournament, I wore the same socks every day, but that’s kind of basic I think,” the senior said. “My ritual right now is my approach. I have really been slowing everything down and taking it game by game. I have been trying to have a game plan every time I go up to the plate and not throw away any at bats.”
This year he is enjoying the postseason a little more this year than last. Last year, he was not an everyday player in the postseason after injuring his shoulder late in the season. After missing most of the six weeks last year, Williams admitted he was in a dark place, but he leaned on his teammates to cheer him up.
This year, the first baseman has enjoyed the ride even more and appreciates the opportunity he gets to spend with his teammates.
“There have been times this year where I wish I could have played a little bit better,” he said, “but it is baseball and about a month ago I just let everything go and moved forward. It made me realize that I have actually had a really great season with all of my best friends.
“I am really just trying to enjoy it for my last year.”
Williams had an opportunity to turn professional after last season, but with the way the year ended and because he slipped in the draft due to questions about his shoulder injury, he decided to return to school for his senior season.
It’s turned out to be a great decision for the Clemson senior.
“There are no regrets. I look back and I am happy with my decision,” Williams said. “To be able to play at Clemson for one more year has been incredible. This year has been absolutely amazing. It has been a great ride. I know we are not done yet, but looking back there has been nothing better. It’s been great.”
With the season nearing the finish line and MLB Draft coming up in June, Williams has remained focused on finishing his college career strong for himself and his teammates.
“I actually thought about this during practice today,” he said. “We have all done a great job of looking at what is important right now. What is important right now is this weekend. If we take care of what we do this weekend, focus on this weekend and get prepared, then everything else will play out for us.
“That is what Coach Monte Lee always tells us … focus on what is important and everything else will play out.”