Senior leader maintains SLC title focus

Senior pitcher Cody Davenport stands on the mound after practice April 1 in Bear Stadium. Cody pitched seven games this season and helped lead the Bears to a 6-6 Southland Conference record.

Photo by Taylor Sone

Cody Davenport, a senior pitcher at the University of Central Arkansas, has been on the mound since he was 9 years old.

Davenport was born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he had a tight-knit family and a close group of friends.

“I have a very close and supportive family. They’re very into sports and very encouraging to me in whatever I want to pursue. I’m very thankful for that. I had a core group of friends that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Davenport said.  

Davenport played wiffle ball with his mom and dad in the yard when he was young and he loved the Houston Astros. He credits that as what sparked his interest in baseball at a young age. He started playing baseball when he was 7 years old.

He has pitched for his teams since kid-pitch started, but he occasionally misses playing the outfield and batting. Davenport spent a lot of his free time in high school hanging out with his friends, going fishing and playing basketball — his second favorite sport. Even with all the fun, Davenport didn’t get distracted from his goal to play college baseball.

He was a two-time All-State selection as well as an All-Conference player in high school and won the class 7A state championship during his junior season. After his senior year in 2015, Davenport was named the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Player of the Year.

While looking for a college to call home for the next four years, Davenport weighed his options with a few topics that he wanted to be covered.

“I wanted to find a place that would let me be a two-way [hit and pitch] player. Secondly, I was looking for the best — or at least a good scholarship,” Davenport said. “I was looking for a place that I could make an immediate impact and I had always wanted to play Division I baseball.”

He received multiple offers to play baseball at the Division I level, as well as some other colleges, but in the end, he felt that UCA was the best fit for him.

“When I came here, I felt at home. The coaching staff is full of great men that care about you even outside of your baseball career, and that means a lot,” Davenport said. “I saw how close all the guys were and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Davenport’s teammates think very highly of him as well. He is seen as a leader and an extremely hard worker.

“Cody is our leader; he shows up every day and goes to work. He sets a good example for a lot of the younger guys on how to go about your business. He’s a great teammate,” junior outfielder Paul Rouse said.

As far as this season goes, Davenport thinks the team is beginning to click as one unit.

“I think we will be very successful and have a chance to play for a Southland Conference Championship,” Davenport said.

Davenport hopes to continue his baseball career beyond college, but he doesn’t let his future plans distract him from his current goal.

“Right now I’m focused on where I am at UCA and trying to win a championship with these guys here,” Davenport said. “You never know when your last time to play the game might be, and I’d hate to overlook the importance of each game I get to play right now.”


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