TRM’s Davis heading to Auburn
Ever since the summer of his freshman year of high school, T.R. Miller Tiger baseball pitcher Kevin Davis began getting letters from colleges across the nation trying to get the young pitcher to sign with their school.
Three summers later, the upper-90s fireballer — who will be entering his senior season this year at T.R. Miller—has committed to play baseball for Auburn University. Davis made the decision Monday night and on his Facebook status Tuesday morning, he had over 200 “likes” and over 30 comments from different people offering their congratulations.
John Pawlowski is Auburn’s head coach while assistant coach Scott Foxhall is the recruiting coordinator.
Davis said on Monday night, coach Foxhall came to Brewton and the two went to eat and he committed to him then with Auburn and LSU being his final two choices.
“I wanted to keep it in the SEC and the scholarship they offered me was really good,” Davis said of Auburn. “It is also close to home. All the coaches on the coaching staff have been recruiting me since the summer of my freshman year. Never have I felt pressured from them to make a decision. They have always stressed how much they wanted me at Auburn.”
Davis said another factor in his decision was the fact that he will know several of the players that have already signed to play at Auburn or who are planning to.
“I know the players that are coming in for the 2012 class and I know the kids that are coming in for the 2013 class,” Davis said. “So it is not like I am going to go somewhere and see a bunch of faces I don’t know…I am going to know the guys that are going to be there. When you go there, you will know what to expect and when you play in the SEC… that is where I wanted to play. I think it is the best conference in baseball.”
Davis, who played with the East Cobb Braves out of Atlanta on a travel baseball team this summer, was named the class 3A player and pitcher of the year by the Alabama Sportswriters Association this past season. Last year, he was named pitcher of the year for class 3A. He was also named to the super all-state team in 2012.
During his junior season for the Tigers, Davis—a 6-1, 190 pound right-handed fireballer— played in 27 games and had 27 hits in 74 at bats and scored 26 runs. He had 16 RBIs with six doubles and two homeruns and six stolen bases. He walked 17 times and had an average of .365.
But his stats on the pitchers mound are the most eye-catching as he pitched in 10 games and had a 7-2 record with one save. He pitched 60 innings and allowed 21 hits, 10 runs, six earned runs, walked 13, struck out 139 and pitched three shutouts and one no hitter and had an ERA of .70.
Davis helped lead the Tigers to a 18-9 season this year before falling to Opp in the first round of the state playoffs.
“This decision was hard,” Davis said of the recruiting process. “The summer of my freshman year was when it all started. I started getting offers. That is two years that I have been sitting on offers and trying to decide and weighing things out. In the end, it came down to Auburn, LSU, Florida, Florida State and South Carolina. It was a tough decision, but I knew I wanted to play in the SEC. I liked Florida State a lot, but I wanted to play in the SEC and it is close to home so that was the ultimate deciding factor.”
While the decision was a hard one to make, Davis said making the decision is like a big weight off his chest.
“It feels great and I feel like I made the right decision,” he said. “It is nice to know everyone is supporting me. Everyone has been so supportive of me, but when you make the decision, it feels like a big weight is off my chest. It was real stressful trying to decide.”
With the class Auburn has coming in this year and next, Davis said it would be great to win the SEC championship while at Auburn.
“The 2012 class they have coming in has a ton of great players in it and my class of 2013 is not as big as the 2012 class, but all the kids in the 2013 class are a bunch of studs,” he said. “They are a great class. Everyone coming in will come in and be able to play and make a big impact.”
Davis recently made the 28-man roster for the USA 18-and-under team.
In August, Davis will find out if he made the final 20-man team to represent his country at the 18U World Championships in Seoul, South Korea
From the second phase of trials, 20 players will be selected to compete for the 18U National Team at the IBAF Junior AAA/18U World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 30-Sept. 8. The USA is scheduled to play Australia, Netherlands, Korea, Colombia and Venezuela in World Championship pool play.
“We go back Aug. 17 for the final tryout,” Davis said. “They are going to cut it down from 28 to 20. I have a good feeling about it. It will be great to go across seas and play and represent my country.”
But while Davis looks to have his baseball future figured out, baseball is not the only sport he plays in high school. Davis also is preparing for his second year as starter for the T.R. Miller football team.
So how will the possible trip to South Korea affect Davis and the Tigers in football?
“I would end up missing the preseason game and the first two games of the regular season—Atmore and Opp,” Davis said. “The coaches have worked very hard with me making sure I can still go play with Team USA and come back and play football.”
Davis said that is one of the things he worried about when he went to tryout for the team. “I worried if I was going to be able to play football,” Davis said. “The way coach Riggs and all of the staff have worked with me and told me to go play with Team USA and then come back and football will still be there. I am looking forward to both. They have done everything for me. Every time I have come back from baseball they have all asked me how I did and it has not been questions asked of where I have been. They asked me how everything is and how everything has come along. They have all been so supportive. All the coaching staff, friends, family and supporters have been so supportive of me.”
The only thing that could keep Davis away from being an Auburn Tiger next year is the major league baseball draft.
“If I get drafted, it depends on how high I go,” Davis said. “I leave it in God’s hands. It just depends on if my name gets called.”
Davis said he would sign with Auburn when signing day comes around in November.
“I don’t actually know the day I will sign, but it will be cool to sign on my birthday which is November 24,” he said. “I thank God and all my friends and family that have helped get me through all this.”