All-Area baseball: Aycock's Garrett Davis named player of the year
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on June 24, 2007 2:01 AM
Less than two hours after a shutout loss in game two of the eastern regional championship series, Garrett Davis stepped off the bus in Pikeville and asked Charles B. Aycock head coach Charles Davis about the pitching rotation.
"Am I throwing tomorrow, coach?" queried Garrett.
Charles replied, "Yes. How long do you think you can go?"
"You don't need anybody else," said a confident Garrett.
The coach and player grabbed their respective bags, and went home for a good night's sleep. Coach Davis knew he'd get the right-hander's best effort in that decisive third game.
Garrett didn't disappoint.
The North Carolina signee limited Northern Nash to four hits and struck out 11 in a complete-game performance. The victory vaulted the Golden Falcons into the state championship series for the first time since 1974.
"It could've possibly been our last game," said Garrett. "Win or go home. I felt comfortable taking the ball and had the confidence in myself."
That confident attitude landed Davis the 2007 News-Argus All-Area Baseball Player of the Year award.
The second-game loss in the regional series snapped a two-month winning streak for C.B. Aycock. The streak started after an unsettling 10-9 defeat against Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference foe Kinston.
"I think he said after a loss to Kinston 'ok guys, jump on my back and I'll carry you all there,'" said coach Davis. "Garrett had one goal in mind and that was to win a state championship."
Each time Davis stepped into the batter's box, the public address announcer played the recording by legendary Chicago Bulls announcer when he introduced Michael Jordan. That Jordan-like attitude helped Davis elevate the play of his teammates.
"Garrett has the confidence in his ability and in his teammates," said coach Davis. "Most importantly, his teammates had the confidence in him. He made everyone around him better."
Davis never tried to do too much. He stayed focused at the plate and concentrated on his pitch selection. Davis slugged a few home runs, but he also hit numerous opposite-field shots.
The new attitude resulted in a team-leading .481 batting average with 42 RBIs, five homers and 14 stolen bases. On the mound, Davis posted a 9-1 ledger with a microscopic 0.32 earned run average. He recorded 111 strikeouts and four saves.
Davis earned ECC player-of-the-year accolades.
"I felt like I had a pretty good year all around," said Davis. "I was consistent. I carried us where we wanted to go."
Davis shined in the state championship series against Southeast Guilford. He batted .600 (6-for-10) with four RBI. In game two, he threw two scoreless innings and picked up four strikeouts.
The final pitch unleashed a flood of emotions.
"It was great feeling," said Davis. "I can't even begin to describe it. I had been dreaming about winning this my whole life."
Now the next dream -- Omaha -- has begun.
Davis heads to UNC and will play alongside second cousin Rob Wooten. The Tar Heels are playing Oregon State in the College World Series this weekend.
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