July 27, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State baseball student-athlete Trevor Williams, a right-handed starting pitcher, competed for the Team USA Collegiate National Team during this past summer, and spent some time in the Cape Cod League with the Orleans Firebirds.
Williams, who will be a junior for the 2013 season, led the Pac-12 and tied for the Division I lead in victories last year with 12.
The Team USA Collegiate National Team finished the summer with an overall record of 12-5, including a 5-2 record during Honkbal Week. They earned a bronze medal in the Netherlands.
On his time in Cuba:
"Cuba was a really cool experience. We had one off day in Cuba, so we toured the Havana Club Rum distillery and visited various older houses and buildings that were really interesting. Our hotel was far away from downtown, so after games we did a lot of hanging out at the hotel, which was cool. Out hotel was like a resort and was right on the ocean with a huge pool, so I couldn't complain. My dad also came down, which was nice.
"One night we had dinner with one of [Fidel] Castro's sons, and we're pretty sure he was just joking, but after we beat Cuba in the first game we played, Castro's son, in broken English, said that he was about to kill his Cuban players cause we beat them. We were like, `wow, don't joke around about that. Did he really just say that? I hope he's kidding.'"
On his time in Amsterdam:
"Amsterdam was wild. We stayed in the middle of downtown - we were right in the center of it - so it was a great experience."
On his time in the Cape Cod League with the Orleans Firebirds:
"Cape Cod was fun for the week and a half I was there. I played on the same team as [ASU starting catcher] Max Rossiter, so it was good to get more opportunities throwing to him. I didn't have to explain the way I threw because he knew my stuff. Even though Beau [Maggi] was my primary catcher on Saturday's last year, I threw to Max a little bit in the beginning of the year and he was my bullpen catcher during the week. Plus I imagine he'll be my catcher next year, so that extra bit of time really helped."
On honoring Cory Hahn in the Cape Cod League:
"I wore No. 34 to honor my teammate and roommate, Cory Hahn, who had plans to play in the Cape League before he was injured. I just wanted to make sure Cory finally made it to the Cape."
On ASU sophomore left-hander Adam McCreery:
"I only saw [Adam] McCreery start one game, but he threw like four innings and struck out like eight guys. He's going to be the No. 1 overall pick, I'm calling it right now. The guy is 6 feet 9 inches tall and can throw hard, but also has a presence on the mound and a great command of his pitches. N.C. State freshman pitcher Carlos Rodon, who was a finalist for the Golden Spikes last season, was on Team USA with me and he threw really hard and his stuff was legit, but I think McCreery will be the one they are talking about over the next two years."
On his Team USA teammates:
"There were a lot of good guys on the team. There were five other guys from the Pac-12: Johnny Field, the leadoff hitter for Arizona last season, David Berg, a reliever for UCLA, Adam Plutko, Friday night starter for UCLA, Michael Conforto, a position player for Oregon St., and Dan Child, Friday night starter for OSU."
On the Honkbal Week Tournament in the Netherlands:
"Cuba won the gold medal and beat Puerto Rico in final game; we finished third and beat Netherlands (played them three times, beat them three times)."
On the other national teams they faced:
"Most of the teams were made up of guys who were 30-35 years old, so were the youngest team in the tournament. We're all like 20 years old and people were flipping out in Cuba. Even if we were losing by one run, it was an accomplishment because even with the age difference, they could barely beat us. Cuba was using their World Baseball Classic Team and their catcher was like their A.J. Pierzynski (Chicago White Sox catcher who has been in the MLB since 1998 and is a two-time All-Star). He'd been in their system in Cuba for 15 years and everyone else was just super old. When we played Puerto Rico in Amsterdam, they threw their guy who had pitched in the big leagues for five years. Chinese-Taipei and Japan were the only teams that were close to our age. The Netherlands threw a guy that was 37. He only threw 80-85 mph, but he was spotting up like Greg Maddux."
On playing Cuba:
"We lost to Cuba in the semifinals of the tournament, which was the seventh time we were playing them. Before it went to extra-innings in that seventh game (the extra-innings rules in tournament: once it got to the 10th inning, you have to start with guys on first and second with no outs), the combined score between the two teams was 33-33. It was so evenly matched it was crazy. Anyway, Cuba ended up scoring two in the weird extra-innings rule. Our team played it risky and went with a hit and a run, and we ended up hitting into a line-drive double play and didn't get anything across.
"We beat Cuba three times out of the seven. We won the first game and last game against them in Cuba, so game one and game five of our seven-game set."
On his play with Team USA:
"I started the first game of the summer on June 25 against the Fayetteville Swampdogs, a summer league team. I didn't have a great relationship with coach (Dave Serrano, head coach at Tennessee) and he put him in the back-end of the bullpen, so I didn't get to throw as much as I liked. But I still got to represent my country, and I got a free trip to Europe and free trip to Cuba. I was bummed that [coach Serrano] didn't give me a starting job, but ASU plays Tennessee in the second week of the 2013 season, so I can't wait to prove myself."