Baseball: Tyler Williamson commits to play baseball for Otero Junior College
FARMINGTON — Tyler Williamson no longer has to worry about whether he'll be playing baseball next spring after the Piedra Vista graduate committed to Otero Junior College earlier this week.
With Williamson's commitment, all seven seniors from Piedra Vista's 2015 roster will be playing at the college level.
"Tyler made a great effort to be a better player and a better teammate this year," PV head coach Mike McGaha said in a text message. "We are happy he is going to have an opportunity to continue to play."
Otero, located in La Junta, Colo., finished the 2014 season with a 33-25 record while competing in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Williamson said the coaching staff at Otero had a big impact on his decision to commit to the Rattlers.
"I talked to coach (Chris) Carrillo for a few days and what those guys had to offer I really liked," Williamson said. "Their program has had pretty good success in the past."
Williamson is the second PV player to commit to Otero, joining Phillip Archuleta. Williamson said having Archuleta at Otero will help in the transition to college, both on and off the field.
Williamson served as the Panthers' designated hitter and earned time on the mound as a relief pitcher this past season. But in his time at PV, Williamson spent time playing nearly every position.
Williamson said he plans to play as a middle infielder for the Rattlers, but is open to a position change to help the team however he can.
"Tyler understands that in order to maximize his opportunities he will have to be a team guy," McGaha said. "I'm sure he will do great for coach Carrillo."
Wherever he ends up, Williamson said he knows he needs to improve his defense.
"My strength is in hitting," he said. "I need to work on my speed and quickness, and my glove work, but I think I'll be all right."
Williamson said he wants to be a nurse in the future, but the demands of being a student athlete won't allow him to get too involved with the nursing program at Otero. Because of that, Williamson plans to study biology, possibly majoring in microbiology to set himself up for nursing school when he's done with baseball.