AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn Tigers baseball team has left Alabama and is in Omaha, Nebraska, preparing for its College World Series battle with SEC rival Mississippi State.
If the Auburn Tigers come out with a win, it is likely that one of Albany’s own, Steven Williams, will play a major role in that win. The Tigers have never won the College World Series.
The reason Auburn is in the College World Series for the first time since 1997 is because Williams smacked a three-run homer over the right field fence with two outs and an 0-2 count to give the Tigers a win over Georgia Tech in the Atlanta Regional on June 1. In those three games in Atlanta, Williams picked up six hits in 13 at bats and hit two home runs.
The Auburn University Athletic information department attempted to connect the Albany Herald with Williams in Omaha on Thursday, but those attempts were unsuccessful.
Williams’ power is no surprise to his Auburn teammates or those who remember him from his high school days at Deerfield-Windsor. In his first at bat as an Auburn Tiger during his freshman season last year, Williams homered. He played 65 games as a freshman at Auburn earning a .291 batting average and .409 on base percentage. He smacked 10 doubles and 12 home runs as a freshman and batted in 51 runs.
His numbers in his sophomore season have dropped slightly, hitting .241 with seven doubles and nine home runs, but he came through big in the Atlanta Regional.
Williams graduated from Deerfield-Windsor in 2017 where he starred as the catcher of the baseball team and the running back for the football team. After his high school season, the New York Yankees drafted him in the 35th round, but Williams chose to go to Auburn instead. As a Knight in Albany he earned All-State three years in a row in baseball and All-State recognition in football. He was named 2016 Under Armour All-American, and 2017 Collegiate Baseball and Rawlings-Perfect Game First Team All-American.
Williams, 6-foot-3, 216 pounds, made his mark in high school as a catcher, but once he joined the Auburn program, he shifted to the outfield.
The Auburn-Mississippi State matchup is set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN2. The Bulldogs took two of three games against the Tigers in the regular season, but maybe, just maybe, Williams is hitting his stride and Auburn is peaking at the perfect time to make a run in the College World Series.