College baseball players trade in their university uniforms for the jersey of a new team each summer.
Some of college baseball’s top players, most of whom are not draft-eligible yet, head to the northeast to play in the historic Cape Cod League. Others catch on with summer teams in various leagues across the country.
While multiple Mountaineers have been excelling this summer, two have had some standout performances as of late.
Austin Davis’ bat has yet to truly heat up this summer. But he continues to flash the leather at a high rate. Only, he’s doing it at a different position than WVU fans are accustomed to seeing him play.
With the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League, Davis is the team’s starting shortstop.
Davis, West Virginia’s every-day right fielder for the last three years, made a diving inning-ending play on back-to-back days to get his team out of a bases-loaded jam last month.
Both plays came in the seventh inning. The Orlando, Florida native ranged quickly to his left and dove to catch a line drive up the middle to end frame on June 23. The next day, Davis went to his right, leapt, and made the grab to once again strand three runners on base.
While Davis has not hit for a high average this summer, he continues to get on base at a great clip (.404 OBP), and is a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.
Lefty Ben Hampton had a standout performance on the mound Saturday.
Hampton, pitching for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League, entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the third.
The WVU sophomore got out of the jam with a flyout, and then pitched three-straight 1-2-3 innings. In all, Hampton threw 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball out of the bullpen, giving up just one hit while striking out eight.
Hampton, who led West Virginia in wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts this spring, appeared to get stronger as the game went on. He struck out the side in the ninth inning to end the game in a 1-1 tie.
So far this summer, Hampton has made four appearances, including two starts. He has thrown 18 1/3 innings, giving up just three runs while striking out 21 would-be batters. He currently sports an ERA of 1.47.