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Matt Davis earns All-American honors at Eastern Kentucky
By Marty Maciaszek | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 6/2/2009 12:31 AM

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Humility has always been a strong suit for Matt Davis.

As a Prospect senior, the 2005 Daily Herald All-Area baseball co-captain in Cook County was in the midst of a streak of homers in seven consecutive games. But Davis wondered why reporters wanted to talk to him considering his team lost.

Davis, who just finished his senior year at Eastern Kentucky, had a similar approach to being named a Louisville Slugger third-team All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper on Thursday.

"It's always nice to receive those accolades," Davis said Monday. "But our team didn't do so well (27-24 overall) so it was kind of bittersweet."

Davis said he was surprised with the honor even though he put together a monster finish to a solid career as a four-year starter. Davis hit .418 with 7 homers, 20 doubles and 43 RBI, scored 71 runs and stole 25 bases in 28 attempts.

He produced those numbers despite an offseason coaching change, a move in the lineup from the middle of the order to the leadoff spot and a switch from the infield to center field.

Davis had hit better than .300 in his career before this year at Eastern Kentucky. Going the other way to right field and being more patient helped contribute to his breakout season.

"I don't think it was one thing in particular but it was a lot of different things combined," Davis said. "I had a different approach at the plate and tried to have fun more and let the game come to me.

"Moving to leadoff helped a lot and it fit into the way I play the game now and how I hope to continue playing."

Davis hopes to get word on his next stop during next week's major league baseball amateur draft. He said he's talked to some teams and scouts during the season.

"I don't have a firm grasp on what's going to happen, but I'm optimistic and hoping for an opportunity and that's all you can ask for," Davis said. "I'm pretty confident someone will take a chance on me and it's all up to me from there."

• Jake Wilson (Fremd) just completed his senior season at Northwestern and finished his career with a batting average of .292 and an on-base percentage of .454. Wilson hit a team-high .421 with runners in scoring position in 2008.

Wilson, a member of the Dean's list who is graduating with a degree in communications, also received the Gordon Rothrock award for achievements on and off the field.

• Libertyville head coach Jim Schurr will hold his 2009 Jim Schurr/Wildcat Baseball Camp June 9-12 and June 15 at the Butler Lake Little League Complex.

Schurr, his staff and current college players will host the camp for ages 7-14. There will be three sessions covering overall skills ($90), pitching ($40) and catching ($30) with a cost for all three of $150.

For more information and registration forms go to jimschurrbaseball.com or call (847) 921-0770.

• Vince Saisi (Prospect) of Indianapolis University started the third game of the NCAA Midwest Regional tournament. Saisi pitched four no-hit innings before he had to leave with a blister on his finger in a 9-2 victory.

Track and field

Mandy Streu (Rolling Meadows) capped a phenomenal freshman season at St. Ambrose with an 11th-place finish in the shot put at NAIA national championships.

Streu's throw of 43 feet, 8 inches was just a foot less than her lifetime best as she improved on her 24th-place finish indoors.

Streu set St. Ambrose and conference records in the shot put (indoor and outdoor) and set the school record in the weight throw (indoor).

• Illinois State sophomore Michelle Brunk (Palatine) won the Missouri Valley Conference 800-meter title (2:10.31) and qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships.

• Morgan Schaefer (Rolling Meadows), an Illinois State junior, scored a career-high 4,785 points to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference meet and earn all-conference honors.

Softball

Sophomore pitcher Kiley Lythberg (Prospect) received the Most Improved Player Award for Central College (Iowa).

A second-team all-Iowa Conference and NFCA Division III all-region selection, Lythberg posted a 16-5 record with a 1.57 ERA. She won her first 9 starts and threw a team-high 143 innings, yielding 112 hits and 23 walks while striking out 104 batters.

Central won its 10th Iowa Conference title and made a record 21st NCAA Division III tournament berth en route to a 36-8 record.

Volleyball

Michael Larson (Rolling Meadows) helped Lindenwod (Mo.) University win the NAIA national championship and finish 37-3. Larson finished the season with a .569 setting percentage and 31 aces.

Rowing

Sophomore Adrienne Darrow (Barrington) helped Williams College win its fourth straight Division III national title and fifth in eight years. Williams was the only school to qualify two boats and Darrow rowed on the one which finished fifth.

Basketball

Former Mundelein boys coach Dennis Kessel will hold his Kessel's Training Basketball camps this summer at the Libertyville Sports Complex, the Lake Barrington Field House and in Grayslake and Lindenhurst.

Weeklong camps start June 15 and run until Aug. 14 for boys and girls from first through eighth grade. There are sessions that include all aspects of the game.

For more information on camp sessions, cost and locations go to the Web site at kesselstraining.com or contact Dennis Kessel at (847) 323-4540.

Palatine Fun Run

Palatine will hold the first "Pirate Pete Fun Run" at the school Sunday to benefit the school's "I Compete" program which pairs high school seniors with at-risk elementary and middle school students.

There will be a 5K run starting at 8:30 a.m. and a 3K walk at 8:35 a.m.

Preregistration before Friday is $15 for adults and $10 for kids under age 12. Race-day registration for all ages is $20 and runs from 7:15-8:15 a.m.

For more information go to the Palatine Web site at phs.d211.org and click on the link to the race.

Wheeling golf outing

The Wheeling Booster Club golf outing and dinner will be July 20 at Chevy Chase Golf Course. The best ball scramble format will tee off at 11:30 a.m., with a social hour at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Cost for golf and dinner is $125 per golfer and $40 for dinner only. There will also be raffles and a silent auction during dinner and all proceeds benefit the Wheeling athletic program.

For more information e-mail Nancy Kortum at kortum1@comcast.net or contact Steve May at (847) 718-7018 or steve.may@d214.org.

• Sports Notes items should be sent via e-mail to mmaciaszek@dailyherald.com or FAX to (847) 427-1173.