At the start of the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championship in Seoul, South Korea, Calvary senior left-hander Garrett Williams was worried about his mechanics.
By the end, all he was worried about was sticking the landing on the celebratory dogpile.
“I misjudged it a little bit,” Williams said. “I wanted to land on top and I cleared it. Our dogpile for state was a little more spread out. I was in the outfield so I had a head start.”
There was no misjudging the hardware Williams brought home from his overseas experience. Williams was an integral part of Team USA’s gold medal-winning squad and earned the award for the top ERA in the tournament after not allowing an earned run in 11 2-3 innings.
“There’s nothing like a gold medal,” said Williams, who previously faced international competition while pitching for Lubbock, Texas, in the Little League World Series.
Williams’ trip to South Korea also helped him prep for his senior baseball season in more ways than one. In addition to testing himself against the world’s best, he played for former major league Scott Brosius, Team USA’s manager.
When Calvary begins defense of its Class 2A state championship in February, Williams and the Cavaliers will play for former major leaguer Todd Walker.
“(Brosius) was exactly the kind of coach you want to have,” Williams said. “He built a personal relationship with us off the field, but he was all business when it was game time.”
The end result was Williams and his teammates hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing while receiving their gold medals.
“You hear the national anthem before every game in high school and you kind of take it for granted,” Williams said. “When you’re wearing the Team USA jersey, you realize you’re playing for everyone, not just your family and friends, but the people who are out there fighting for our freedom.”
Connect with Jason Pugh on Twitter at @JasonSPugh.