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Knapp wraps up college career

By Michael Butler

Four years ago, Davis Knapp was graduating from Tallassee High School. The former Tiger was headed to Darton State College in Georgia to continue his education and baseball career.

In August, Knapp will graduate from the University of South Alabama. With two years under his belt as a player with the Jaguars baseball program, Knapp is now a graduate assistant set to pursue a Master's Degree and work towards a career in Physical Therapy.

At Tallassee, Knapp is at the top of many categories in the Tigers' illustrious baseball record book. He is tied with Stephen Webster atop the single season hit list with 55 for his 2011 senior season. He hit .514 that year. Only Jonathan Johns .521 average in 1988 is higher among THS sluggers.

Knapp had 132 at-bats in 2011, third most in Tallassee single season history. He also ranks third in the category for a career (370). In 2010, Knapp scored 50 runs (fourth all-time). He is fourth in runs scored in a career with 109.

Knapp had 131 hits in his three year playing career with the purple and gold (fourth all-time). He ranks 11th in RBIs (78). Defensively, Knapp was pretty spiffy as well. 16 runners were caught stealing with him behind the plate in 2009. The number is fourth best among Tigers' catchers for a single season.

One of the most interesting stats for Knapp is the hit-by-pitch category. Knapp easily leads with the top three seasons for "taking one for the team." He took several for the team; 17 in 2010, 14 in 2011 and 12 in 2009. His career number in the category is 43.

Knapp during his high school days

"That was my forte," he said of the number of beanballs he took.

The move up from high school was a transition that Knapp handled well. It gave him the opportunity to continue baseball after Darton with a Division I program. "Coming from junior college, the biggest difference I saw was the depth in pitching," he said.

Versatility is something Knapp was known for at THS. It continued in college.

"Catching was the position that got me as far as I got," Knapp noted. "Being able to play other positions allowed me to play a lot more."

Last year, Knapp played catcher, left field and second base at South Alabama. "In junior college, I played everywhere but shortstop and first," he noted.

Knapp was teammates with Trey Cochran-Gill at Tallassee. The two ended up on opposing teams in a game at Plainsman Park at Auburn when Cochran-Gill's Tigers hosted Knapp's Jaguars. The two faced off in one at-bat with Knapp at the plate and Cochran-Gill on the mound.

"That might be my favorite at-bat of my college career," Knapp said. "I wish (it) had lasted longer than one pitch. It was pretty surreal especially being close to home."

Knapp hit a comebacker to Cochran-Gill. "It was the best situation because he can say he got me out, but I can say I tagged him pretty good."

Cochran-Gill is now playing with the Jackson Generals of the Southern League. "He's loving it. He's throwing well," Knapp pointed out. "I actually saw him a couple of weeks ago. They were playing the (Mobile) BayBears. He picked up a three-inning save."

While Cochran-Gill looks to continue his climb up the baseball ladder, Knapp feels that the baseball chapter in his life is probably behind him.

"The Sunday of the Sun Belt Championship game was a struggle to get up and go to the park. You didn't want to go because you realize it might be over. That was tough to deal with."

Amanda and Davis

Knapp is now a married man. He and his wife Amanda tied the knot in 2013. "It's been great. I couldn't ask for more. I've been very lucky to have somebody with me over the last four years of my baseball career."

Thanks go out to not only the missus but many others who chipped in along the way.

"I thank my parents and my coaches, every single one of them; one of those is Cal Sears. He spent five or six years with Trey and me and multiple other people. I can't even begin to name all of the people that have kept up with me. I'm sure there are plenty more that I don't even know about, and that's what I'm most grateful about. I am lucky to have grown up in such a great town. There were a bunch of people in Tallassee who kept up with me the whole time. Nobody will ever know how much that means."

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