Spencer Wolff ’25, Sports Writer
As springtime is in full swing, so is the baseball season. The Davidson baseball team has been very hot lately. Their record is currently 24-6, with a 5-1 record in A-10 play, and is only one of two teams in the nation, along with #1 Tennessee, to have 20 wins on their home field this season. A major portion of the success has come from Davidson’s pitching, especially the team’s #1 starter, Nolan DeVos ‘23. As of April 11, DeVos, in 8 starts, has an ERA of 1.96, a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 0.96, and a win-loss record of 5-1. About his season so far, DeVos said that “it’s been going really well. Last year I was a closer, and this season, I’ve transitioned to a starter, which has been exciting for me. I’ve been able to throw more and help the team more at the beginning of games and the middle of games.” He also said that “everyone is getting hot at the right time, it’s exciting entering conference play, and we’ve been doing really well.”
DeVos’ move to a starter was due to the team needing spots to fill, as the team had injuries at the starting position last season. About this, DeVos commented that “those players moved to the bullpen, and I got to move into that starter role, and I kind of wanted to do that when I got here at Davidson. I was used to being a closer, usually having a one-run game, so knowing the pressure at the end of the game has helped as a starter because there are definitely some nerves on the first pitch. I just have to go out there, deal with that pressure, and just keep playing.”
Davidson had a tremendous non-conference portion of the season, going 19-5, including beating Bryant, who was #22 at the time of the series. In a game against Bryant, DeVos pitched 8 innings, giving up 3 hits and no runs. On what he and the team can take from the non-conference schedule as they go into A-10 play, DeVos said “I gotta keep doing what I’ve been doing, and that’s basically attack every batter, keep throwing the ball in the zone, keep challenging hitters with offspeed pitchers, and trust my defense and whoever is catching me behind the plate. It makes it easier when the catchers are as strong as they have been.” DeVos also put an emphasis on the importance of the conference schedule. “Every game means the same, but the conference games count to get into the tournament, so everyone’s a little on edge for a little bit.”
Last week, on April 5, USA Baseball named DeVos to the 44th Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list, a list of the top 45 amateur players currently in the country. About this honor, DeVos said that “It meant a lot to me. I’ve always tried to have high expectations for myself, which can be a good and a bad thing. That was definitely something that I was going for this year, I want to be the best in our conference, and nationally, I want to put myself up there with them. From that [the award], our team gets recognized. We have a lot of hitters doing really well, a lot of hitters doing really well, and that helps us and helps me out. It’s a cool award to be a part of.” This comes after winning two A-10 Pitcher of the Week awards and being named to the A-10 First Team last season.
As conference play continues, DeVos says that the team hopes to continue what they’ve been doing. “We’ve got a couple more road trips, and VCU was our first true road test, and they’ve traditionally been a powerhouse of the A-10, and to go up there and win two out of three was awesome for us. We’ve had a lot more confidence this season, and to keep attacking every weekend, we hope to sweep, and that will put us in a great position come A-10 Tournament time. We hope to be a 1-seed, and to stick with what we’ve been doing, keep everyone loose, and play the game how we do.” Davidson Baseball has had a record start to the season, and DeVos, a large component of this team’s success, hopes to continue contributing in his way as the team gets closer to the A-10 Tournament.