ALLENDALE, Mich. -- Grand Valley State baseball pitcher, Matt Williams, set an NCAA Division II saves record this past weekend at the 2017 GLIAC Tournament, rounding out his career at GVSU with 40 career saves.
“Well it was nice to see him get that," Coach Jamie Detillion said. "You’re always happy for your own guys when they achieve big things. That’s what we like them to do when they come here. But even more special, too, he broke one of a previous Grand Valley guy. So that was just as cool for me to see that, knowing that we had the opportunity to coach two really good closers.”
Matt agreed it was an amazing ending to his career. “It’s really special. Statistics now that your career is over are cool to look back on and tell your kids about one day. It’s more special just ending my career out with good people that I’ve played with. Great teammates, who are my best friends that will probably be my best friends forever, so it’s real special to have that accolade, but at the same time if I hadn’t gotten it, it wouldn’t have changed my experience here at Grand Valley.”
And Williams has certainly had quite the experience at Grand Valley since transferring in 2014 from Northern Illinois. 29 career touchdowns and nearly 2,500 yards as a wide receiver on the football team and an average 1.72 ERA as a pitcher.
“Well there’s a lot of good things that they can draw out of two sports," Coach Detillion added. "There’s a competitive side. There’s a mental toughness. There’s just some unique factors like that they can bring into your sport and you know they can present to your team and be a leader and use it their advantage sometimes. That’s one of the things we’ve noticed over the years working with our football program. We’ve had some good two sport athletes here and a lot of good mental toughness characteristics come out of that.”
“It was a lot of fun. It kept me on track. It kept me on task with my grades and staying eligible and just kind of rounded as a person," Matt stated. "It kept me very humble. Playing both sports and having the opportunity to do that here, not many people get. I was very fortunate to have that and to be successful in the roles that I was given.”
Williams hopes to continue his baseball career in the future.