Butler grad a hit for La Roche baseball team
After playing his high school baseball at Butler in a super-competitive northern region, Colin Williamson took his game to La Roche College.
This past season, the Redhawks advanced to the regional tournament with a 31-15 overall record and a 15-1 conference record.
While the team went 1-2 in the bracket, part of the reason for the overall success was Williamson's versatility.
He moved from the outfield to third base to allow a freshman to assume a starting role, and helped shore up the infield in the process.
“We are all for one and one for all,” Williamson said. “I just like to play.”
Williamson said the team's postseason berth and the excitement that came with it was the best part of the season.
“To go out and win with your best buddies and accomplish something as a team, I wish everyone could feel that,” Williamson said.
“We didn't have expectations, we just wanted to keep playing for ourselves and the seniors. We didn't want to lose those guys.”
During that winning campaign, Williamson earned Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference first-team honors.
“Colin works his tail off,” La Roche head coach Chase Rowe said.
“He moved from center field as a freshman to third base. He was our leadoff hitter and definitely a high-caliber player.”
Williamson, who started all 46 games for the Redhawks, said the accomplishment meant a lot because he attributes his success to hard work.
“I made sure I had my fundamentals down so I could work on areas of need,” he said.
“I wanted to focus on things I was not doing well.”
While the personal improvement was gratifying, Williamson knew the better he was, the more he could help the team.
“Coach Rowe and Sean Lupin helped me work out the kinks with my (fielding),” Williamson said.
“I bounced between the outfield and shortstop in high school, so I had an idea about what to do.
“I benefitted from the team as much as they benefitted from me.”
Another thing Williamson and the team worked on was a pitch-by-pitch approach. By focusing on the immediate task at hand, Williamson hit .360 and was tied for second on the team with four home runs. He also led the team with 62 hits.
Despite playing in a tough section at Butler, Williamson said the difference in the level of play in high school and college is night and day.
“There is so much you have to learn, that process never stops,” Williamson said.
Williamson expects to remain in the infield for his junior season, but added that if a need arises, things are subject to change.
“Colin is mature beyond his years,” Rowe said. “He is ultra competitive, and clean as a whistle. He is just an all-around good kid.”
As he works toward his marketing degree, Williamson is excited about the future of the team.
“We know what we can do,” he said. “We just need to keep that confidence up and know that we can go far if we work hard. We can't get too high or too low. … We started off slow, but rebounded.
“Next year will be a new year, with new things to do.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.