UCF’s Tommy Williams named to Golden Spikes 60-player watch list

Tommy+Williams%27+.376+batting+average+is+second-best+in+the+American+Athletic+Conference.

Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Tommy Williams' .376 batting average is second-best in the American Athletic Conference.

The Golden Spikes midseason watch list for the top 60 collegiate players in the country was released on Thursday and the UCF Knights’ own Tommy Williams was recognized as a contender for the prestigious award.

The West Palm Beach native has the highest batting average on the team at .376 and 52 hits for 25 runs. He’s also second on the team for runs batted in with 31.

“It’s an honor,” Williams said. “Some of the guys on the team were just telling me about it, I had no idea. I was like that’s awesome, but I didn’t try to think too much about it because we still got a ways to go.”

Awarded to the player who “best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship,” Williams, a senior, earned the spot with his superior offensive ability and his team-centric mentality and is only the third UCF player to ever be named to the list.

Even with the national recognition, Williams keeps a level head and focuses on bettering himself as a player rather than what he’s achieved already.

“I try not to pay attention too much to that kind of stuff,” Williams said. “I just try to go out there and play and I play hard, and if I get awards then great.”

Last season Williams also earned a spot on the All-AAC First Team at shortstop, but with Dylan Moore now playing that position, Williams has been moved to third base.

“Tommy’s had a heck of a year for us, [a] great player,” said head coach Terry Rooney about the 6-foot-2-inch infielder. “He’s done a nice job and it shows you not only what he’s done individually, but moving around position wise. He played shortstop last year and he’s very team-oriented when we decided to make the switch to third base, or the outfield or whatever it takes. I’m very proud of him, he’s got what it takes.”

In the 36 games he has played in this season, he has reached base in all but two games and he has reached base successfully in nine-straight games.

The list of 60 will be reduced to 30 as the Golden Spikes 30-man Watch List will be released on May 7.