When Edarian Williams isn’t playing baseball for Rancho, he’s playing somewhere else.
“On the nights we don’t have games, I’m in the cages,” he said. “Or I’m in the garage, hitting off the tee (or) soft toss. We have a net.”
Baseball, baseball and more baseball. He can’t get enough.
In turn, Williams is one of the top players in Las Vegas and, as a UNLV signee, will be staying in town for the foreseeable future.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 185-pound senior shortstop was batting .515 with four home runs, six doubles, 12 stolen bases and 19 RBIs through last week as the Rams’ leadoff man.
“The way his demeanor is, it’s uncanny to anyone else,” Rancho coach Manny Llamas said. “He wants to play ball. He wants to play as hard as he can, even at practice. He’s our leader for a reason. Practice time or game time, he’s always ready to go.”
Williams started playing when he was 4 and ultimately quit football and basketball to focus on the diamond. His dad played baseball, too, and helped him improve his skills in the batting cages, where he was a regular by the time he turned 10.
“That’s what made the difference. Me and my dad did little side work on our own,” Williams said. “And it just kind of continued since I was that age. I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Williams made Rancho’s varsity team as a freshman and worked his way through the program, batting .326 as a sophomore and .392 as a junior.
College programs took notice, and Williams picked UNLV over UNR and a bevy of junior colleges. The Rebels signed him as a shortstop, and he’s looking forward to getting to campus.
He has unfinished business, though. Rancho (19-4) is a legitimate state championship contender.
“He sets the tone for us offensively,” Llamas said. “It’s a guaranteed run every time he gets on because he can steal a base, he can hit for average. His leadership in this leadoff spot has been a great success for us. He does it all the time.”
Centennial freshman to attend trials
Centennial freshman Taylor Bigby will try out for USA Basketball’s 17 and under team in Colorado Springs, Colorado, next month, her father, Lamar, confirmed Tuesday.
The trials run from May 24 to 28, and the FIBA 17U World will be July 21 to 29 in Minsk, Belarus.
Bigby, a reserve for the Bulldogs last season, already has an offer from UNLV and is regarded as one of the top freshmen on the West Coast. She plays AAU basketball for Nike-sponsored Cal Sparks.
Local baseball teams ranked
Basic is ranked No. 25 this week in Perfect Game’s national top 50. Bishop Gorman fell to No. 27 from No. 19 after a loss to Snow Canyon (Utah). Desert Oasis remained No. 49.