After graduating from Camas High School Friday, Taylor Williams had a weekend to remember at the Washington all-state baseball series in Yakima.
In his first at-bat Saturday, Williams hit a grand slam. By the end of the second game on Sunday, he had completed the cycle with a single, two doubles, a triple, a grand slam, six RBI and four runs scored. Also playing solid out on the field at second base, Williams was named Defensive Player of the Series.
“I wanted to represent Camas in a great way,” he said. “To be able to win an MVP award is more than I could have ever asked for.”
Except for maybe more sleep, beforehand.
“My mom picked me up from my graduation party at around 2 a.m.,” Williams said. “I think I got about an hour of sleep, before we drove to Yakima because I had to be there at 8:30. The first game was at 10.”
The opportunity to play ball with the best in the state rejuvenated Williams. He reached base five times in the first game, and drove in six runs. He scored the run in the seventh inning that gave Team Adams a 7-6 lead, but Team Baker scored six runs in the top of the eighth to put the game out of reach.
On Sunday, Team Adams defeated Team Rainier 15-8 for third place in the series. Williams went 3-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, a triple and two runs scored. He also pitched two innings on the mound.
Williams was one of four athletes from the Greater St. Helen’s League selected to the all-star event. Joining him was David Anderson and Skye Adams of Columbia River High School, in Vancouver. Camas teammate Derek Atkinson also received an invitation, but was unable to attend.
“To have four guys there from the same league is a pretty good deal,” Williams said. “It shows the level of talent we have down here.”
Camas and Columbia River ballplayers, coaches and fans are never going to forget playing 11 innings in the state semifinal game on May 28, at Safeco Field in Seattle.
The Papermakers prevailed 3-2 on a 2-out double by Kurt Yinger that scored Nate Allison and Logan Grindy. Williams remembers that game like it was yesterday.
“There’s no better feeling than playing with my best friends on a professional ball field such as Safeco,” he said. “So many people dream of that opportunity their whole life, and we got to do it in high school.”
Williams is anxious for his next opportunity, playing college baseball for Washington State University.
“I’m excited to move on to the next level. I feel I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish in high school,” Williams said. “I’m going to take the friendships I made here, and everything I’ve learned from working hard and having integrity. Camas is my hometown. I’m going to be representing Camas wherever I go.”