College update: Wayland hurler craves competition

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

Former Clovis standout Darren Davis transferred to Wayland Baptist after two years at Trinidad State Junior College in Alamosa, Colo., to be close to family and because of the competitiveness of the program.

“The region is known in the NAIA as a tough conference,” Davis said. “You’re always playing tough competition.”

Wayland coach Brad Bass said Davis is part of a Pioneer pitching staff he considers the strongest piece of his club.

The Plainview, Texas-based Pioneers are off to a 6-5 start through Sunday.

“I knew coming into the season our pitching would be good,” Bass said. “Some of the other guys have proven success and Darren has shown improvement, too.”

Bass said it took a while for him to learn just how competitive Davis was.

“A lot of players, they wear their feelings on their chest. I didn’t know Darren was very competitive till I passed him in the locker room, and he thought no one was around, and really let loose.”

Davis has four pitches in his arsenal, including a knuckle curveball and a two-seam fastball, which he can throw in the upper 80s.

Davis went 4-2 with 88 strikeouts and 6.43 ERA in 2006 while helping Wayland Baptist to a 33-27 record and a third place finish in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

Davis set the school record with 14 strikeouts in a single game last season.

Davis has started slow this season with an 0-2 record and a 9.24 ERA in three starts, however, Wayland has just instituted a new conditioning program Davis believes will only make him stronger.

“It gets your arm healthy to pitch sooner,” Davis said. “Every pitcher wants to increase velocity, and I would like to throw harder and spot up my pitches to be more accurate. And the new program definitely helps.”

College update is compiled by CNJ Sports Writer Greg Price. He can be reached at 763-6991 or via e-mail: greg_price@link.freedom.com