Former KSU All−American scores winning run in World Series

The chances of playing in the big leagues are slim. The chances of scoring the winning run to clinch the World Series title? Even slimmer.

Georgia (Oct 27, 2005) — The chances of playing in the big leagues are slim. The chances of scoring the winning run to clinch the World Series title? Even slimmer.

But former KSU All−American Willie Harris did just that in Game Four‚ helping the Chicago White Sox to a 1−0 victory over the Houston Astros.

“He’s a fine young man‚ and I’m just thrilled for him‚” baseball head coach Mike Sansing said. “It’s a dream come true for anyone who has ever played the game.”

The game’s lone run came in the eighth‚ with two outs‚ off Houston closer Brad Lidge. Pinch−hitter Harris‚ who didn’t even know if he would still be part of the organization at playoff time‚ hit a two−strike single to left and was sacrificed to second by Scott Podsednik.

Pinch−hitter Carl Everett’s ground ball to second moved Harris to third‚ and a ground single up the middle from Jermaine Dye‚ the World Series Most Valuable Player‚ allowed Harris to score what turned out to be the winning run.

Harris transferred from a junior college to KSU in 1999‚ but was drafted by the big leagues after just one year.

“He’s an outstanding athlete‚” Sansing said. “He has power‚ he can run and he has an extremely good arm. You can see why he was drafted. He has a ton of talent.”

The first former Kennesaw State player to play Major League Baseball when he made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2001‚ Harris hit .256 this season with a home run‚ eight runs batted in and 10 stolen bases.

Sansing‚ who says he keeps in touch with his former second baseman‚ is confident Harris will play major league ball for a long time.

“He is such an asset for any team because he can play second base‚ shortstop or outfield‚” Sansing said. “He has many tools.”

Harris is the nephew of former major leaguer Ernest Riles and holds another distinction as he and the legendary Jackie Robinson are the only major leaguers to hail from Cairo‚ Ga.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit