Evan Davis has gone from a preferred walk-on to a full-fledged member of the Chicago State University baseball team.
Davis, a 2011 Sterling High School graduate and former Sauk Valley Community College standout, has 2 years of eligibility remaining. He is currently a non-scholarship player, but hopes that will change.
The left-hand hitting outfielder made the team with his performance in fall practices, and the team’s Green vs. White World Series. He hit over .400 in the series.
Davis is thrilled to be playing NCAA Division I baseball.
“At Sauk Valley, I had some offers to play [NCAA] Division II or NAIA, but I really wanted Division I,” he said. “That’s been my dream since I was a kid. I was contacting coaches, and the NIU coach [Ed Mathey] told me about Chicago State.
“His former assistant [Steve Joslyn] is the head coach. That’s when I called Chicago State, and Coach [Joslyn] told me I had a good chance to walk on. Then, I proved myself, and in the middle of November, they put me on the team.”
Davis got some help from another local athlete now at Chicago State – basketball star Matt Ross, a Dixon High School grad and former Sauk standout.
“He told me about the place, and it helped me out a lot,” Davis said. “I visited once. It’s pretty cool. We’re not far from downtown Chicago.”
Davis is confident he will get on the field.
“The coaches talked to me about that,” he said. “They said I have a pretty good chance of playing. It’s a great opportunity.”
Davis, who lived in Sterling his whole life, looks forward to getting to see a lot of new places. This spring, the Cougars will play in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Chicago State opens the season Feb. 14 at McNeese State in Louisiana.
“They’re in the [Western Athletic Conference] now,” he said. “We get to do a lot of traveling. I think we play in 11 states.”
A business management major, Davis plans on a career in the sports field.
“I’d like to work in the Cubs organization,” he said. “I really want to work in professional baseball. If not, I might open a sports store or be a statistician.”
(Davis’ career at Sauk Valley CC)
• Freshman (2012): .427 batting average, 25 RBIs. ... Tied for 21st in nation in NJCAA Division II in batting average. ... All-Arrowhead Conference. ... All-Region IV second team. ... academic all-conference.
• Sophomore (2013): .402 batting average, 25 RBIs, 6 triples. ... Ranked 12th in nation in triples and 36th in nation in batting average. ... All-Region second team. ... team captain. ... academic all-conference.
• Hit in 61 of 72 career games at Sauk