SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nick Williams said it reminded him of a jump ball in the end zone.But in this case the cornerback was the right-field wall at Ed Smith Stadium. Williams made a fantastic, home-run-saving catch in the eighth inning in Monday afternoon's 6-4 loss to the Orioles. Logan Schafer
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nick Williams said it reminded him of a jump ball in the end zone.
But in this case the cornerback was the right-field wall at Ed Smith Stadium. Williams made a fantastic, home-run-saving catch in the eighth inning in Monday afternoon's 6-4 loss to the Orioles. Logan Schafer ripped a ball to right field, but Williams timed his jump perfectly at the wall to snare a ball that had sailed over the fence.
"That was a 'wow,'" Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Williams, who homered in the top of the eighth, is hitting .362 (8-for-22) with one double, one home run, five RBIs and a .962 OPS in 12 games. He will open the season in Triple-A, but he could press the Phillies for a promotion with strong play the first couple months of the season.
Games like Monday's tend to leave an impression.
"That was better than any walk-off home run I've ever hit, personally," Williams said. "I can't even explain it. It was cool. My adrenaline was rushing. I felt it in my glove, I was like, 'No way.'"
Williams knew the ball was carrying well off the bat. He said he put his head down and started to run, just in case he had a chance to make a tough play at the wall.
"It's a feeling, an instinct," he said. "Seeing where the wall was, I jumped. I knew it was going over. But I timed it."
He said he felt the ball land in his glove, but he checked anyway.
"When I came down I think I looked like, 'OK, it is [in there],'" he said.
Williams had never made a catch like that before, he said.
He probably caught his share of jump balls as a wide receiver. He played at Galveston Ball High School in Texas. He played on the left side, Mike Evans played on the right. Evans caught 12 touchdowns as a Pro Bowler last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"That's my boy," Williams said.
Evans was the better football player. Williams is the better baseball player, although he said he outran Evans.
"I never give it to him," Williams said, smiling. "When me and him talk about it, 'I was faster than you.'"
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.