Davis helping shape Hawks' future

Freshman goes 3-4 with two RBI in win over Falcons Friday


DONNELLSON – Freshman Blake Davis is quickly making a name for himself as the next four-year starter at shortstop for the Central Lee Hawks – knock on wood.
Davis is stepping in nicely as the Hawks’ gap infielder and is following in the footsteps of 2022 graduate Alex Sandoval who played four years for the Hawks including a state appearance in 2019 and a substate championship in 2020.
A crystal ball wouldn’t even be enough to tell if Davis will assemble a similar resume, but for right now, he’s enjoying playing ball.
Davis went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and run scored in Friday’s 7-1 win over West Burlington in a SEI Superconference South showdown in Donnellson.
“The ball looks really good right now,” Davis said after Friday’s win. “There’s no intimidation here, you just have to go out and do your thing.
Davis is just a freshman but is hitting .432 before Friday night’s game, with a home run and 13 RBI. That’s just one behind Zach Manwill’s team-high 14.
Head Coach Shane Weirather said Davis’ age aside, he’s one of the best young players in the conference.
“He’s definitely the real deal,” Weirather said. “There’s not anything he doesn’t do exceptionally well as a high school player and as a freshman. He’s just one of the top players I’ve seen at short. He can hit, and I don’t believe he has a strikeout this year, so he puts it in play. And pitching -  I think we’re gonna really start to see him roll.”
Davis is 1-1 on the year from the mound with a 2.42 ERA and 24 strikeouts. He’s also walked 14 hitters. But hidden in those figures is the fact he’s allowed just three hits in more than 14 innings of work.
Friday’s game was scoreless through the first two innings, but the Hawks got things going on the second trip through WB starter Conner Bush’s rotation on the mound. After Gage Van Ausdall lined out to start the bottom half of the third, Cory Jones and Davis both singled and Manwill wore a pitch to load the bases. Junior Bo Herdrich singled to center scoring both Jones and Davis, but Herdrich would get gunned down trying to stretch the hit into a double. Junior Kayden Calfee followed with a single to score Manwill and spot the Hawks at 3-0 lead.
Central Lee would expand the lead to 6-0 on a Davis two-run double in the bottom half of the fourth. A Manwill fielder’s choice also scored a run in the inning. Brayden Wyrick would drive in the final Hawk run in the fifth with an RBI infield single.
West Burlington would get it’s only run in in the 6th when Bush scored tagging up at third on a Thuleen sacrifice fly to center.
Herdrich and Caedon Newton combined on the two-hit win with Herdrich getting the win. The two combined to strike out six and walk just two in the win. Weirather said that says a lot of about his team’s defense.
“They struck out six so that means we had 15 outs in the field, right? Two walks – that’s a lot of control. That’s the feeling I had that both of these guys were throwing a lot of strikes,” he said.
“But we mixed enough speeds and changed things up to get some weak contact and then our defense played a little bit too, so I like the way that played out.”
Weirather said he’s fairly happy with the teams 9-4 start. They are 4-3 in SEI Superconference South Division and have won two in a row.
“We beat the teams for the most part that we’re supposed to. We’ve been up and down and it’s been a little rocky, actually,” Weirather said. “I wish we would have played better against some of the better competition we’ve seen. But we had a nice win against Fairfield and that’s a good team.”
Davis, who has five errors on the year, committed one in the top of the sixth, but then came back with a sharp grab and throw on the run at short to get the first out in the top of the seventh.
“You make an error you gotta flush it. You can’t keep it in your head or you’ll just make another,” Davis said.
“I’ve been playing for a long time. Since I was six. I come in and work hard. Being a freshman, I try not to think about too much. Just go out and do my thing. I started well and then had a little slump, but now we’re getting it back together.”
The Hawks take on Class 1A No. 1 Burlington Notre Dame on the road Tuesday. The Nikes beat Central Lee by 13 earlier this year. Weirather said the Hawks aren’t 13 runs worse than Notre Dame and hopes for a better showing at their place.

Central Lee, Hawks, West Burlington, baseball, sports, Falcons, Pen City Current, Shane Weirather, Blake Davis,


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