Hard work paid off for Union County’s Tripp Davis.

The Class of 2021 graduate will get a chance to play baseball at the next level.

This past spring, the versatile senior was named the District 4-1A Region Player of the Year by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. He is the 1st FACA POY from Union County since Dustin Hersey won the award in 2012.

He helped lead Union County to a 21-5 season and a spot in the Class 1A state playoffs.

Davis batted .350 and led the team with 26 runs batted in. In 102 plate appearances, he only struck out eight times all season.

Union County baseball coach Travis Rimes said he’s got “a great two strike approach.”

“He is one of the best two strike hitters I’ve ever seen in high school,” Rimes said. “Very few strikeouts, always putting the ball in play.”

Rimes said Davis’ work ethic is what sets him apart.

“He set the standard for our younger guys,” Rimes noted.

He was Union County’s pitching MVP this year after leading the team with a 7-2 record in 12 appearances. Davis had a 2.35 ERA and struck out 75 batters in only 53.2 innings pitched.

That helped Davis, who was a corner infielder when he wasn’t pitching, earn a spot on an FACA All-Star roster.

“Tripp really had a great year,” Rimes said. “He was our bulldog on the mound. He worked extremely hard this past fall getting his velocity up to 87. He really set the tone for us in a lot of the close wins early in the season.”

As a junior, Davis led the team with a .478 average and 11 hits through seven games before COVID-19 shut things down in 2020. He also had a 1.43 earned run average with a team-best 19 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched.

But his favorite high school moment came during his freshman year when the Tigers won the district title in 2018.

“Tripp has been a baseball fixture for our program,” Rimes said. “He never took a day off, always ready to go and often the last to leave the park. Tripp has truly been a pleasure to coach, and he will be difficult to replace.”

Davis will be attending St. Johns River State College in Palatka to continue his education and “play the game I love.”

His ability to be versatile defensively led to his opportunity in college.

Rimes said that Davis “has great hands and could have played the middle if we needed.”

“Coach O’Steen referred to him as a utility knife, so much so that St Johns River State offered him as a catcher,” Rimes explained. “We can’t wait to see him excel in college.”

Sports Director for Mainstreet Daily News

Mike Ridaught is sports director for Mainstreet Daily News. Mike hosts a weekly high school sports show at Sonic Drive-In and does play-by-play for a Game-of-the Week on 106.9 FM “I am Country.”

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