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Luke Williams "aka Captain America" hits walk-off HR for Phillies
LATE WEDNESDAY PHILLIES 2, BRAVES 1

Luke Williams "aka Captain America" hits walk-off HR for Phillies

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Williams' 1st career HR walks Phillies off over Braves

Philadelphia’s Luke Williams is welcomed by teammates after his two-run home run during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against Atlanta.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin called Luke Williams “Captain America” on Wednesday night.

After the month Williams has had so far, he definitely deserves a nickname and that one seems perfect.

The rookie utility man hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the Phillies to a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

The walk-off home run was the first of Williams’ career and it came in just his second big-league game. Williams ran toward first base with his mouth agape as he watched the flight of the ball.

“I don’t know if I’ll have words to describe that moment,” Williams said. “That was pretty incredible. I’m still trying to figure it all out. You can’t make this up.

“It hasn’t been the easiest journey, but this is pretty awesome.”

Before the Phillies called him up Tuesday, Williams spent last week helping Team USA qualify for the Olympic games. The U.S. went 4-0 to win the North and South American Olympic qualifying tournament, which ended Saturday.

Williams, 24, batted .444 (8 for 18) with a double, triple, a home run and six RBIs in the tournament.

“You think about the 10-day period that he’s had,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.

The Phillies drafted Williams in the third round of the 2015 draft. He was not considered one of the team’s top prospects, but he opened some eyes in spring training and had a batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage slash line of .352/.439/.465 for the triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs before joining Team USA.

Before Wednesday’s ninth inning, the Phillies appeared headed for a lifeless loss to the Braves.

Andrew McCutchen drew a one-out walk, and then Williams came to the plate with two outs.

He pulled a slider from Braves closer Will Smith 377 feet into the left-field stands.

Williams is from Orange County, California. His mom Jeannine, dad Mark, younger sister Samantha and younger brother Ike were in the Citizens Bank stands to watch the home run. Williams’ parents were in Florida for the Team USA Tournament. They flew back to California on Sunday but then took a 5 a.m. flight Tuesday to Philadelphia when they learned Williams was headed for the big leagues.

Williams also had plenty of congratulatory texts on his phone.

“I thought my phone blew up the first couple of days,” he said. “I can’t imagine tonight. It’s going to be hard to get back to everyone, but I’ll find a way to get back to them. It wasn’t just me who got here. I had a lot of people who helped me out.”

Williams brought eight gloves to Philadelphia and can play multiple positions. Girardi said the rookie’s versatility is a big plus.

Williams got a bunt single in his only at-bat Tuesday. On Wednesday, he started in centerfield and in addition to his home run he also doubled.

“Last night was great. Today was even better,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what his encore is.”

The Phillies (29-31) are four games back of the first-place New York Mets in the National League East.

They are a team mired in mediocrity and in a need of spark.

Could Captain America’s walk-off shake up the dormant Phillies?

“We’re fired up,” Eflin said. “It could very easily be momentum shifting for the season.”

Phillies 2, Braves 1

Atlanta AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Acuña Jr. rf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .284

Freeman 1b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .224

Albies 2b 4 0 3 0 0 0 .261

Riley 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .306

Swanson ss 4 1 1 0 0 1 .234

Almonte lf 3 0 1 0 1 1 .333

W.Smith p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Contreras c 4 0 3 1 0 1 .264

Heredia cf-lf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .248

Davidson p 2 0 0 0 0 2 .000

a-Adrianza ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .226

Matzek p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Martin p 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Inciarte cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250

Totals 33 1 8 1 2 10

Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Segura 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .315

Realmuto c 4 0 1 0 0 0 .293

Harper rf 3 0 0 0 1 3 .268

Hoskins 1b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .252

McCutchen lf 3 1 0 0 1 0 .221

Bohm 3b 3 0 1 0 0 1 .216

Suárez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

b-Miller ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .280

Williams cf-3b 4 1 2 2 0 2 .600

Torreyes ss 3 0 1 0 0 0 .291

Eflin p 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Herrera cf 1 0 0 0 0 1 .269

Totals 31 2 5 2 2 8

Atlanta 000 001 000 — 1 8 1

Philadelphia 000 000 002 — 2 5 1

Two outs when winning run scored.

a-struck out for Davidson in the 7th. b-popped out for Suárez in the 9th.

E — Riley (10), Bohm (9). LOB — Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 6. 2B — Contreras (2), Williams (1). 3B — Albies (4). HR — Williams (1), off W.Smith. RBIs — Contreras (20), Williams 2 (2). S — Eflin. DP — Philadelphia 3 (Segura, Hoskins, Segura; Eflin, Torreyes, Hoskins; Eflin, Segura, Hoskins).

Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Davidson 6 4 0 0 1 4 1.53

Matzek, H, 8 1 0 0 0 0 2 3.75

Martin, H, 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 1.54

W.Smith, L, 1-5, 2/3 1 2 2 1 1 4.74

Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Eflin 6 8 1 1 2 7 3.89

Suárez, W, 2-0 3 0 0 0 0 3 0.00

T — 2:51. Att. — 13,552.

Contact: 609-272-7185

MMcGarry@PressofAC.com

Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

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