‘It Feels Amazing’: WVU’s Davis On Return To Field

West Virginia
West Virginia outfielder Austin Davis rounds first after a hit

West Virginia outfielder Austin Davis is doing something few other college athletes have had the chance to do since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – play in actual games in his sport.

“It feels amazing,” Davis told BlueGoldNews.com just before taking the field for his team’s first game in the Collegiate Summer Baseball Invitational on Thursday night. “Getting out here and practicing and playing with the other guys, it’s just been great. We just got off the field after BP (batting practice) and it’s just like a regular game day.”

Davis has been in College Station, Texas, for three days of workouts and practice for the CSBI event, which runs through Saturday, June 6. Getting back into a somewhat normal routine (with the addition of COVID-19 prevention protocols) has been a blessing for him.

“It’s been just like regular college practices,” he said. “When all this hit I was still in Morgantown at first, then I was back home in Orlando for a while. Getting back to doing this has been really good.”

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Davis, like all the other participants in the CSBI, had to undergo testing before being admitted to the complex in College Station.

“We actually had both kinds of tests, the ones for the antibody and the one to see if you had the virus. The one (nasal swab) was a little unpleasant – it made tears come to my eyes – but getting all the results come back negative puts your mind at rest.”

Davis said everyone at the event tested negative, so the 21-member rosters of each of the four teams were cleared to play, along with coaches, umpires and other game personnel. It’s a process that he’ll likely go through again when he plays with an Orlando summer league team this July and August, and when he returns to the WVU campus.

“The original summer league team I was with cancelled their season, but then I got connected with the Orlando summer team,” he said of his plans. “They are planning to start practice on June 15 and play through Aug. 14. Then I’ll go back to West Virginia for the fall semester.”

Davis had a good debut at the plate for Team Unity in Thursday night’s opener. He rapped a pair of hits to drive in three runs.

Davis will play again on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET, and will have another game on Saturday if his team can get a win in that Friday contest. Those games are available via pay-per-view at csbi2020.com.

Once his play in Texas is complete, Davis, like many of his Mountaineer teammates, will begin preparation and play in summer leagues. While more than a dozen such organizations have announced they will not play in 2020, many more have modified their normal schedules and will get in 1-2 months of play this year. Davis noted that several of his teammates, like him, had initial spots lined up, but were forced to change when those leagues called off their seasons.

“Several of us are playing closer to home, like I am in Orlando,” Davis said. “It’s good to have that chance to play. We haven’t gotten any details yet on going back to school, but I know they are concentrating of football first, and then we’ll work in after that.”




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Home Page forums ‘It Feels Amazing’: WVU’s Davis On Return To Field