01/10/2018 5:20 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Jan. 10, 2018 – During the 2017 Oilmen season, catcher/infielder Noah Davis soaked up as much as he could from the team’s veterans.
The chance to play with some of the organization’s household names like Tyler Sroczynski, Chris Baker and Zack Jones allowed Davis to learn the ropes as a freshman who hadn’t played in a collegiate game after redshirting his first year at Quincy.
Davis, now a redshirt freshman at Benedictine after transferring schools, is ready to embrace a leadership role as he returns for a second summer with the Oilmen.
“Playing with some of those older guys last year, I learned how to handle myself in that environment and how to have fun,” he said. “I found out what Oilmen baseball is all about. It was cool having them for my first summer in the league to set a good example for how we should act and play.”
The Andrean graduate and Portage native was a fixture on the field in 2017, playing in 40 regular season games, the third most of any Oilmen player. He shared the team lead in RBIs with 27 and home runs with three.
“I enjoy being close to home and playing in the Region,” Davis said. “I have people in the stands who I know. Playing for Coach (Adam) Enright was a positive. I learned a lot from him last summer, so I felt that coming back would give me the opportunity to continue that.”
The Oilmen Broadcasting Network gave Benedictine coach Adam Smith a sneak peak of the caliber of player he was adding to his roster. Smith watched over half of last year’s Oilmen games online.
“When I assign players to summer ball teams, the biggest thing I hope for is that they are going to play a ton and compete,” Smith said. “The worst thing you can do is send a guy to a league that is non-competitive. Noah is going to face good pitching in a highly-competitive league. I liked the way the Oilmen used him last year, moving him around the field and getting him a large number of at-bats. That’s a huge plus for our program.”
Davis is more than satisfied with his decision to transfer to Benedictine, where he joins an Eagles team that went 24-18 and 12-8 in conference play a year ago.
“From Day 1, it’s been a way better experience,” he said. “The coaching staff has made it an easy transition. I didn’t feel like a transfer; I just felt like part of the team. The older players and the coaches have made it smooth.”
Davis was a part of the Andrean High School teams that won Class 3A state titles in 2014 and 2015. Nine 59ers have gone on to play for the Oilmen, second only behind Lake Central (11). Davis is joined on that list by Kevin Franchetti, Kenny Mahala, Mike Hanchar, Jeremy Wright, Donovan Chandler, Jimmy Skiff, Chase Dawson and Luke Jaksich.
“It was special being around so much talent,” Davis said. “There wasn’t anybody on the team we felt was a weak link. It’s cool seeing how many guys I played with are still playing and having success.”
Andrean High School coach Dave Pishkur described Davis as a “baseball junky” and said his work ethic is the first thing that stands out about him.
“He’s very competitive, and you always like that in an athlete,” Pishkur said. “He didn’t like to lose, and we liked that as well. He’s a kid who made his mark on our program. When his years of college are over, he’s going to be successful at whatever he wants to do.”
In addition to working hard on the diamond, Davis makes his studies a priority.
“He’s a great kid; he’s starting to step into a leadership role already and he’s only been here a semester,” Smith said. “He leads by example. He’s not a big rah-rah guy, but he means business in the weight room and the cage. He’s put on 10 pounds of muscle since he arrived on campus. He’s left a great first impression on people here and they can already tell his work ethic is second to none.”