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TC grad lands at D-I Sac State
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For an aspiring professional baseball player, Eli Davis had the ideal high school graduation gift: a college scholarship, which is a major step in the process. But when he was about to sign his letter of intent, he learned that Division I's Cal yanked away his offer due to lack of scholarships available, leaving him confused about his future.
The 2008 Turlock Christian High graduate then endured “an up-and-down ride” that included turning down scholarship offers to play at undesirable schools before landing at Modesto Junior College, where he became an all-league outfielder. But it looks like his post-high school journey is on the rise again after he committed Wednesday to play for Sacramento State, also a D-I program.
He's expected to make an immediate impact once the Hornets’ season begins in spring 2011.
“I got up there and walked around (the campus) and I knew it was the right place for me,” Davis said.
After having standout seasons at Turlock Christian, he encountered an unfortunate incident in which the Golden Bears were forced to cancel Davis' scholarship because they managed to surpass their limit, he said. Eventually, he decided to play for MJC and Coach Chris Rodriguez allowed him to grow as a baseball player.
“Going to 'JC,” Davis added, “it was a learning experience and humbling experience. I think I got a little better because of it.”
In his second and final season at MJC, Davis played a big role in helping the Pirates finish third in the Big 8 Conference and earn a berth in the Northern California Playoffs. He batted .298 and committed only one error, more than enough to be named an all-league second-team selection.
Davis said the past few years have had stressful moments for him and his family, though he said the support of his parents, Eric and Dawn Davis, and his Christian faith helped him along the way.
Eli Davis first made contact with Sacramento State a couple months ago, he said, at a junior college all-star game.
Though he got one other offer from Cal Poly Pomona, Davis knew Sacramento State was his destination after a campus visit. He said he fell in love with the coaching staff and the direction of the Hornets, now that assistant Reggie Christiansen will take over the coaching helm next season — following the retirement of Coach John Smith.
“I really like his philosophy,” Davis said of Christiansen, who had a successful stint at South Dakota State.
Christiansen also told Davis that the TC grad will likely start as the Hornets center-fielder.
“Basically, he said, it's my spot to lose,” Davis said.
Good news for someone who had a shaky start to his college baseball career.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.