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Dream Team: Davey battled all season

Newport Harbor High catcher didn't let injuries stop him from helping team reach playoffs for first time in 20 years.

July 07, 2010|By Steve Virgen, steve.virgen@latimes.com
(Courtesy of Newport…)

To most spectators, Blake Davey appeared battered and bruised, maybe even defeated during his senior season on the Newport Harbor High baseball team.

But he proved to be a warrior for the Sailors. There were injuries that would cause many players to leave the game, Coach Patrick Murphy said. But Davey kept battling.

The catcher developed a rough and rugged persona. He was also the player who the Sailors wanted at the plate with the game on the line. That goes for offense and defense.

Blisters on both feet, a cut on his left index finger and a gash on his right throwing hand tested Davey's motivation. Davey brushed those injuries aside and helped the Sailors reach unprecedented heights.

He was the leader for Newport Harbor, which reached the CIF Southern Section playoffs for the first time in 20 years. He also provided the game-winning hit that gave the Sailors a 3-2 victory over Roosevelt in the wild-card round of the CIF Division I playoffs.

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Davey is the Daily Pilot Dream Team Player of the Year, the top baseball competitor in the Newport-Mesa area. The award might help soothe his pain, yet Davey believes there really weren't any aches.

Against Roosevelt, he suffered the gash on his right throwing hand when a Roosevelt player slid into his tag at the plate. Some peroxide and tape helped stopped the bleeding. There wasn't any thought to bring in a substitute catcher.

"It was the first time we made the playoffs in 20 years," Davey said. "I wasn't going to leave because of a cut."

Davey instead finished strong in his final year with the Sailors. He helped Newport Harbor finish 17-11, 6-9 in the Sunset League. Last year, the Tars went 9-16, 4-11.

"He was definitely our leader in the locker room and in the dugout," said Murphy, the Sailors' first-year coach. "He was a leader by example and the voice we turned to. He anchored our offense … He was six for seven in our two playoff games … He had a cut probably four inches long. Most kids would pass the gear to someone else. That was the game he got the game-winning double. He just put some peroxide over it and wrapped it. Just a tough kid."

Davey, a Dream Team member last year, is planning to take that breed of toughness to the University of Arizona, where he'll be a preferred walk-on. He said playing in the Sunset League and against CIF Division I competition helped prepare him for the next level.

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