Williams’ walk-off keeps Longhorn baseball undefeated

Nathan Han

Texas head coach David Pierce recalls one early winter memory of junior Cam Williams as he described the infielder and transfer as one of the hardest workers on the team.

“It was raining and about 30 degrees, but he was taking ground balls and throwing them into a net at first base,” Pierce said. “That tells you something. … He’s a little stubborn in some of his workout routines offensively, but it’s not that he’s been noncoachable. He just has good routines that he believes in.”

On Sunday, that stubbornness paid off for the Longhorns, as Williams hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to stay undefeated at 8–0.

With one out, the switch hitter took a 2-2 fastball inside and smashed it down the left field line. The Boise State dugout called for a review, but the call stood as a fair ball. Texas took the game 7-5 and picked up the series sweep.

“I knew it was fair as soon as it was coming in,” Williams said.

Up 5-3 in the ninth inning, senior reliever Donny Diaz came in to collect his third save of the season. But Boise State center fielder Geon Hyoung Kim had plans of his own, and with two outs, hit his own two-run homer to even things up at five apiece.

“I think this team is very resilient,” junior infielder Zach Zubia said. “We could’ve easily looked ahead right there and said, ‘Hey, this game’s in the bag with a two-run lead in the ninth and Donny coming in.’ But it wasn’t, and we came out and played great in the ninth and the tenth.”

Sunday’s victory wasn’t without some fight from the newly formed Broncos.

“Boise outplayed us today outside of the second inning,” Pierce said. “They put us in a predicament to have to win the game. You don’t ever want to have to be put in that position, but it’s nice that we just responded without panicking and just stayed with the game.”

Senior outfielder Austin Todd had a string of bad luck in the past couple of games, whether it was being on the wrong side of impressive defensive plays or hard-hit balls going straight at fielders. 

In that second inning, however, something finally fell for Todd when the second misplayed pop-up resulted in a two-RBI double.

“On (Wednesday), I hit three barrels,” Todd said. “I thought one was a home run, but I have nothing to show for it. So, there’s really nothing I can do in that situation. I just need to have good at-bats and the hits will come.”

Sophomore pitcher Coy Cobb picked up his second Sunday start of the season and finished with 76 pitches and two earned runs on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Had Diaz not blown the save, Cobb would’ve qualified for the win. Instead, transfer sophomore pitcher Dawson Merryman came in and picked up the win with a three up, three down tenth inning.

It was a big day and a big series for the two transfers. Williams got the start at third base for the first time this season and, outside of an error on Sunday, delivered on both offense and defense. 

“Opening weekend he doesn’t play, but he never complained,” Pierce said. “He got better there in our work and our batting practice. When you see that from kids, they deserve opportunity, and he got his opportunity. I don’t know if he’s willing to give it up.”