GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) Cowley College will represent the central division this season in the JUCO World Series. One of their offensive weapons went down with an injury that sidelined him for five weeks. He came back just in time to help the Tigers to a District Championship and get back to Grand Junction.
"We lost our left fielder back seven weeks ago," said head coach Dave Burroughs. "We played five weeks without him. He broke his collarbone in practice and we had to overcome that. he was hitting like .407 when he got hurt."
"Pretty much I ran into our shortstop and I broke my left clavicle and I was out five weeks," said sophomore Grady Davenport. "I was supposed to be out I think a little bit longer."
Left fielder Grady Davenport is looked at as a team leader and captain for the Tigers and even after the injury, all he could think about was getting back on the field.
"He's still hurt but he doesn't want to stop," said sophomore pitcher Kaid Karnes. "He wants to play. I respect it. He's working hard."
"I was so excited to come back," Davenport said. "Getting hurt like that, it was kind of a bummer but you know getting back into it, I was really excited."
Even with missing five weeks, Davenport still is slugging like a boss. He is second on the team in slugging percentage, second in doubles with 11 this season and fifth in RBI.
"He's a big bat," Karnes said. "When we first lost him, we struggled for a minute, a couple games I would say. When he came back, it really helped to have everyone back."
Davenport brings an energy every time he hits the field and after a long five weeks off the diamond, he had to spend some time getting back into form before the district tournament.
"With him in the lineup, I think everyone is more relaxed," said Karnes. "Not everyone is pressured because they have to do more."
"I was a little worried about my swing, getting back into it, my timing and everything like that," Davenport said. "Just working with my coaches and my teammates staying positive really helped me out."
In the central district tournament, Davenport helped the Tigers score 34 runs over the four games they played. If they stay this hot, watch out.
"Whenever our bats are on, I think we can hang with pretty much everybody," Davenport said. "I think we have shown that throughout the season and throughout the region six tournament. I think potentially we have a really good chance to make it all the way through."