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Wildcat Breakdown: Williams’ pre at-bat rituals keep him focused

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TUCSON (KVOA) -- Donta Williams is not Mike Hargrove but his many rituals prior to stepping in the batter's box are numerous and meaningful.

Arizona's junior centerfield stops at the dirt on his walk to the plate, draws a symbol with the knob of his bat and taps it on the dirt three times.

He twerks his hips and then proceeds into the batter's box where he digs out a plant spot.

That's followed by a side skip from the back to the front of the box which Williams accents with a kick.

Lastly before a pitch is even thrown the Las Vegas product leans back in deep concentration and taps his bat in four different places with his left hand.

Now's Donta Williams is ready to compete.

The tapping of the bat with his hand is the only one of these rituals that Williams does prior to every pitch during his plate appearances thus no one will ever categorize him as a "human rain delay", the moniker placed upon Hargrove, the longtime Major League player and manager who went through a litany of repetitive rituals between every pitch during his days in the big leagues.

Donta Williams draws a cross in the dirt prior to every at-bat

Williams is in his fourth season playing for Jay Johnson. He's a career .274 batter for UA where you can usually find him at the top of the Wildcats' lineup.

He choose to return to Arizona for the 2021 season, after what appeared to have the makings of a fabulous junior year, were cut short due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Williams was hitting .348 when the 2020 season was canceled.

Defense is one of Williams' specialties. He's known for his ability to track down fly balls in the gaps, an ability that landed Williams on the Pac-12's All-Defensive team in 2019.

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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