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Definition of a Ballclub

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A GOOD DEFINITION OF OUR BALLCLUB': TEAMMATES EMPATHIZE AFTER SUPER REGIONAL

June 12, 2018

By Jeff Shearer
AuburnTigers.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Judd Ward arrived first, racing across the outfield to console his teammate and friend.

Within seconds, the gathering grew. From the bullpen, bench and infield, Auburn Tigers descended on Steven Williams, their presence saying more than any words of comfort ever could.

A minute earlier, Auburn's freshman right fielder had sprinted to the warning track, giving chase to a sharply hit ball. Williams leaped and outstretched his left arm, attempting to match his outfield mates' game-saving grabs from prior innings.

Williams looked in his glove, but the ball wasn't there. In an instant, it had caromed off his glove and over the wall.

While Florida dogpiled, celebrating a 3-2 win in 11 innings that clinched the Gainesville Super Regional, Auburn's players and coaches embraced.

"I think it's a good definition of the ballclub," Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. "The ballclub immediately went to right field and congregated there to be with Steven, and I think that's a good definition of our ballclub."

Without Williams, Auburn would not have been in this position -- one run away from the program's first trip to Omaha in 21 years.

Matching the defending national champs pitch for pitch on the Gators home field, needing 29 innings over three days to determine a winner.

Williams homered Sunday in Auburn's 3-2 win. On Monday, he delivered again, driving in the Tigers' first run with two outs in the third.

Drafted by the New York Yankees as the country's No. 3 rated catching prospect, Williams chose Auburn instead, filling a need in the outfield this season before transitioning to catcher in 2019. He led the Tigers with 45 walks and a .409 on-base percentage. His 12 homers ranked second and his 51 RBI were third.

"It won't define him," Thompson said. "It will be part of his journey. He had a heck of a year. A special ballplayer. Our whole club knows it. It'll be a part of the journey that he'll look back on."

Like many of his teammates, Williams shared his feelings on social media, expressing his appreciation for being part of Auburn's program.

"They call it the Auburn Family for a reason!" Williams wrote on Twitter. "Love this team wouldn't want to go war with anyone else."

"Our guys have done a good job of not blinking, especially in the postseason," said Thompson, who has increased Auburn's win total from 23 to 37 to 43 in his three seasons. "One more. Keep fighting, and stick with it. Keep trying to make adjustments, keep trying to develop, keep trying to grow, keep trying to attack, keep trying to believe in everything you're doing.

"I'm glad we were here. I wanted more for our guys. I wanted another week with them, another two weeks with them. It'll end tonight but the message won't change at all. We get our hearts ripped out, but at the same time, this is living. And this is awesome to be part of."

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Great read. Love the first part. I didn’t know Ward sprinted over there. That’s pretty cool, he knew his brother needed to be picked up 

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Also saw this pretty good stuff coming from Auburn men coaches included

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The goal from beginning of the season was Omaha. Auburn took the No. 1 team and the defending national champion to the brink in Monday's Game 3 of the Super Regional. It took extra innings to decide the winner. But while Omaha will have to wait, this year's Auburn team will be remembered for a long time.

As head coach Butch Thompson said, this team left "an unbelievable legacy."

 

 
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“I told them I love them for the rest of their life. They’re part of me. They’re part of my family.”

🗣@3strikes_AU on his postgame message to @AuburnBaseball

 
 

After the game, some of the players took to Twitter to thank their teammates, coaches and the Auburn fans who have supported them along the way.

 

 

I love my brothers and I would not trade them for the world. I thank the Auburn family and @AuburnBaseball for providing me with a lifetime worth of memories that I can cherish forever. War Eagle!

 
 

 

 

Auburn, all I can think to say is thank you! Thank you for all your support these past two years, and thank you for making a kid from CA feel right at home from the moment he got here. This place will always be incredibly special. War Damn forever 🤙🏼

 
 

 

 

Words can’t even describe how hard it was to take the Auburn uniform off for the last time. These past three years have shaped me into an Auburn man. Thank you to the school and the program for giving a boy from Louisiana a shot to accomplish something great. #WDE

 
 

 

 

I love auburn for everything it has blessed me with. Thank you to the whole auburn family for the love and support the last 2 years through ups and downs. Auburn is now a part of me till the day I die. War damn eagle.

 
 

 

 

I love these boys. Bonds were made this year that can never be broken. Thank you Auburn Family for the amazing support last night and all year. God is so good. #WarEagle

 
 

 

 

They call it the Auburn Family for a reason! Love this team wouldn’t want to go to war with anyone else. War Damn Eagle

 
 

 

 

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and my brothers this season. It didn’t end how we wanted but God has a plan and that was his will for our season. Wouldn’t want to go to war with anybody else besides this group. We will be back. #WDE

 
 

 

 

Never been apart of something more special than this team! Love the Auburn family and the Auburn baseball team! War damn forever

 
 

 

 

Thankful and grateful for everyone that supported us this year. God is still good. #WarEagle

 
 

This year's Auburn team, who finished 43-23, didn't just have the support of the Auburn fans this season. It had the support of the entire university -- from the president to the athletics director to fellow coaches and student-athletes of other sports. They all took to Twitter to show love to the Tigers after Monday's game.

The word that kept coming up time and time again? Special.

 

 

 

I am so proud of the team @3strikes_AU put together. @AuburnBaseball let the nation see true grit. My heart breaks for the players, coaches and staff who put so much energy into this season. Keep your heads up, the Auburn Family loves you!#WarEagle

 
 

 

 

 

Auburn Baseball is something special. The entire Auburn Family was watching, praying and as proud of this team in victory or defeat. Picked 6th in West? @3strikes_AU represents all that’s good about coaching! @AuburnTigers

 
 

 

 

Words don’t do justice to how proud I am to coach the young men of Auburn baseball.

 
 

 

 

What a season. Could not be more proud of the fight and heart out of every single one. The character showed the most after the game when the guys hustled out to right field. Just wow. It didn’t end like y’all wanted, but you guys made us all proud. 💙✊⚾️@AuburnBaseball

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

Can’t do nothing but be proud of them boys man ... @AuburnBaseball hell of a season ✊🏾💯

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Coaching is absolutely a "calling" and it can not be faked...Bruce Pearl knows probably better than anyone and he nailed it with his comments.  I could not be more bullish on the future of Auburn baseball with Butch Thompson leading the way.

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As I sit and watch the beginning of the CWS, it hurts my heart knowing that these young men belong here and would have made all of us so proud. I see us making the next step for the 2019 season to the CWS and doing some serious damage to any team that comes out way!

WDE!

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