Natchez High’s Jaylin Davis to play in Grand Slam MSA All-Star Game for seniors-to-be

Published 3:41 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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NATCHEZ — As it turns out, current Natchez High School freshman Martavis Woods will not be the only Bulldog competing in next month’s Magnolia Sports Association’s Grand Slam MSA All-Star Baseball Games.

Natchez High junior, or as head baseball coach Dan Smith put it senior-to-be, Jaylin Davis, who plays both pitcher and infielder, has been invited to and will play in the All-Star Game for upcoming seniors at East Central Community College in Decatur on Friday, June 16 at 2 p.m.

Smith said he pretty much expected Davis to be participating in this particular All-Star Game which will showcase some of the best players in the Class of 2024 from around the state. However, he added that Davis was somewhat nervous about whether he would be invited or not.

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“I really wasn’t surprised. I didn’t know if they had already did all their teams. They did that team (upcoming seniors) last,” Smith said. “I assumed they were going to do those first. But they did those for 2025 and 2026 first. I wasn’t surprised with tome of the things he does pitching-wise.”

Smith said he was also happy for Davis and his family to get this kind of recognition before getting ready for his senior season with the Bulldogs.

“He didn’t know if he was going to make it or not. But when he received the email invite, he was excited about it. He texted me and let me know. But I had already known,” Smith said. “He received it on Tuesday, May 9. This will be a great opportunity for him to be seen by college coaches because this will be his last year at Natchez High.”

During his junior season last spring, Davis was one of the Bulldogs’ standout players in various ways while playing in multiple positions. On the mound, he had a 3-4 record with 55 strikeouts and 28 walks while giving up 50 base hits in 40 innings pitched against some tough competition both in and out of MHSAA Region 5-5A. And while Brookhaven High School and Florence High School will remain in that region for baseball over the next two school years, out is West Jones High School after being reclassified to Class 6A and in is North Pike High School, which moves from Class 4A.

Hitting-wise, Davis had a .275 batting average with 18 total base hits. He had six double and two triples and 20 runs batted in in 50 at-bats go with 22 stolen bases. He struck out just 15 times last season. As an infielder, he had a solid .926 fielding percentage with just four errors on the season.

Smith said playing in the Grand Slam MSA All-Star Game will help Davis in a multitude of ways both on and off the field.

“The first thing is it’s going to help him prepare for college the two days they’re going to stay there (at ECCC). They’re going to stay in dorms. He’s going to have his mind prepared for college,” Smith said. “This All-Star Game is vital for him, as it is for all upcoming seniors. It’s good chance to see everything. They’re going to eat in the cafeteria.

“On top of that, playing-wise, he’s going to compete against the best from around the state. See how his ability matches up with others from around the state,” Smith added. “it’s going to be good for this area as well.”