MOOSIC — Mason Williams has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. But in all of his time in Moosic, the outfielder had never been into the visitor’s clubhouse.
That changed on Friday when Williams’ new team, the Louisville Bats, came to PNC Field to play a three-game set against the RailRiders, which turned into a two-game set when Sunday’s season finale was rained out.
“It would have been fun to play another game here and be back in Scranton,” Williams said after Sunday’s rain out. “It’s been fun. We lost the first game but, obviously, we won last night. So it’s good. It’s just fun to see all of my old friends have success and be able to be healthy and play this game.”
Williams, a 2010 fourth-round selection by the New York Yankees that signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in the offseason, had his ups and downs in his two-game return.
First came the downs.
Williams went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his return to PNC Field on Friday. He also injured his wrist as he laid out in an attempt to catch a Ryan McBroom drive to deep center field in the second inning of the 4-3 loss. After a brief meeting with the Louisville training staff, Williams stayed in the game.
“It’s sore, for sure, but I’ll be on the field,” Williams said. “It’s not going to keep me off the field.”
But then on Saturday, Williams went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI as the Bats won 9-4. He had a two-run single in the first inning that provided the Bats with a 4-0 lead.
“No matter what inning it is, it’s always good to try to do whatever I can to help the team win,” he added. “It was early in the game, those are big runs.”
Getting drafted as a 17-year-old out of West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla., and growing up through the Yankees’ farm system, Williams is going through an adjustment period now that he’s in the Reds’ organization. He’s batting .251, which is 20 points lower than his career average, and is batting .211 over his last 10 games.
The Bats as a whole have had their struggles, too. They sit in last place in the International League West Division and 14-games behind first-place Toledo, with Columbus on tap next.
But with just 58 games under their belt, there’s still time to turn it around. And Williams believes that he’s around the right group of people to do it.
“In between the white lines, the game’s still the same. It’s still the same game of baseball,” Williams said. “I still have to play hard and perform. Being with these guys, it’s so great. Everyone here loves the game of baseball, loves to talk the game of baseball. I’m always fine with that.”
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle