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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Baseball

Q&A: Davis has aim on postseason in second year


After breaking numerous freshman records last season, Davis hopes to lead the Cougars on an Omaha run in 2017. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

Last season, sophomore designated hitter Joe Davis was an integral part of the team that made it to the championship game of the American Conference Tournament.

He burst onto the scene, breaking the freshman record with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs, and tied the freshman record in doubles, with 17. 

Davis, the Preseason Conference Player of the Year, will no doubt be instrumental in the Cougars quest to win conference and return to the postseason.

The Cougar caught up with Davis to talk about his goals for the 2017 season.

The Cougar: How do you feel the preseason is going for you guys?

Joe Davis: I think we’ve done a lot of good work as a team. A lot of the young guys have fit real well into the program. I want to say we’ve worked harder than anybody else in the country. So preseason went really well. I think we’re ranked 20th right now. It’s giving us something to look at and hopefully improve.

TC: Anything you in particular are trying to work on?

JD: Trying to find my swing again. I had it last year and I don’t know where it’s at right now. So I’m just trying to get back to it.

TC: Going into last season were you expecting to have the season that you did?

JD: I mean, I hoped I would. But then again I was only wanting to hit like 8 home runs, ended up hitting 14. I definitely exceeded my expectations.

TC: As the season rolled along were the coaches keeping you aware of all the records that you were breaking?

JD: As far as the records went yeah. They were like “Hey you only have to hit three more home runs or RBI’s or doubles and you’ve got the record.”

TC: And that was a motivation for you going into each game?

JD: Kind of, like let’s get this one in the books today. Before every game our stats are on the wall and you go “let’s improve these.”

TC: What’s it mean to you when you hear you were picked as the Preseason Conference Player of the Year? Is it a motivator for you or is it a distraction?

JD: I want to say it’s a motivator because you don’t not want to live up to people’s expectations. But on the other hand preseason doesn’t mean anything. It’s all about what occurs in the season afterwards and what team you’re on. Definitely something to live up to and a little bit of a distraction at the same time.

TC: Considering how close the team got to the postseason last year, how much of a motivator is that for you guys this season?

JD: This year we definitely want to get to the postseason. We were one game away from getting in last year.With the guys we have this year, hitting wise and pitching wise, and if we live up to our capabilities we’ll definitely make it into the postseason.

TC: Do you feel there’s a ceiling yet for this squad?

JD: Not so much. I think if everybody does what they can do then we’re going to surprise a lot of people and hopefully end up winning the whole thing. But we have a lot of talent that people don’t know about yet.

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