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Sailors, Davey produce

Senior's RBI double lifts Newport Harbor to wild-card win in first playoff game in 20 years.

May 19, 2010|By Barry Faulkner

NEWPORT BEACH — Blake Davey's home white baseball pants are, at this point, more of a mud-stained beige. No matter how much bleach the senior catcher uses, his Newport Harbor High uniform comes out at least a couple shades darker than clean.

But with one swing of the bat Tuesday, Davey did his part to wipe clean two decades of diamond futility for the Sailors.

Davey's line drive, bad-hop walk-off double, that bounded over Roosevelt's charging left fielder, allowed Steve Guerin to score from first base with the deciding run in the seventh inning of a 3-2 victory in the wild-card round of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs.

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The victory, in the first postseason appearance since 1990 for the Newport Harbor program, propels Coach Patrick Murphy's squad into the first round Friday. Newport Harbor (17-10) will visit Adolfo Camarillo High to meet the Pacific View League champion at 3:15.

"I don't think there is any better feeling than a walk-off hit," said Davey, a cleanup hitter who went three for four and drove in two runs. "It's probably the best feeling in baseball."

Davey, by virtue of the physical toll exacted by his devotion to rugged play, is not in the habit of feeling good.

He has battled blisters on both feet, which recently required him to play with one tennis shoe and one cleat. Another recent wound, on his left index finger, became infected. And, for good measure, he sustained a gash that required more gauze and tape when a Roosevelt player slid into his tag at the plate, jarring the ball loose by planting his rubber cleat into the back of Davey's right throwing hand.

"Look at him," Murphy said of Davey after the game, which was followed a jubilant celebration by the players and several team photos by posterity-minded parents, anxious to let the biggest moment in recent Sailor baseball history not go unrecorded. "He's got tape everywhere; ice everywhere. I don't know what's [still] working on that guy, but it doesn't matter. He just battles. Blake is our leader. He did exactly what you would expect out of him in that situation. It has just been a blast, an absolute pleasure to coach him and be around him this year."

Davey, who also called pitches for just the third or fourth time this season, he said, may have been the most obvious, but he was hardly the lone hero for the hosts.

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