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Williams Picked by Cardinals in MLB Draft
Liberty shortstop Matt Williams has been selected in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball Draft this afternoon by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Williams, who completed his junior season this past spring, becomes the 43rd player in program history to be taken in the MLB Draft and the third this afternoon. Fellow Flame left-hander Garrett Baker was taken in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Steven Evans was picked in the 13th round by the Minnesota Twins earlier today. Liberty has had three players taken in the MLB Draft, the most players picked since five were selected in 2002.
Williams was named to the Big South All-Conference second team for the second straight year in 2011. The infielder hit .336 with 38 RBIs and 41 runs scored, while leading the Flames with 76 hits, 17 doubles and career single-season high nine home runs. Two of his home runs were walk-offs. He stole 16 bases, the most during his three seasons as Flame, in 20 attempts.
In 2010, Williams hit the second-most doubles in a single season in program history, 22, while posting a career single-season high batting average of .360. The shortstop is fourth on the Liberty career two-base hit list with 51. He also is among the program's career hits leaders. Williams is 10th all-time with 223 career hits.
Liberty posted a 35-24 this past season. The Flames have had a player taken in every MLB Draft since 2000. Williams becomes the third Liberty player to be drafted by the Cardinals. Right-hander Clint Horsely was selected in the 29th round in 1987 and left-hander Josh Brey was drafted in the fourth round by the team in 2001.