For the final time this season, the University of Hawaii baseball team hit the road on Wednesday as the Rainbow Warriors will close out the 2021 season in the golden state playing four games at Cal Poly starting on Friday.
The past weekend, the ‘Bows honored the seven member senior class in the team’s home finale against UC San Diego, but it’s likely that this weekend’s outing will serve as the aloha series for a few more with a handful of players being draft eligible in July.
Headlining that bunch is third year sophomore starting pitcher Aaron Davenport as the preseason All-American lived up to the hype. The Washington native posted a 3.33 ERA with 93 strikeouts in just 81 innings pitched and following his most recent start at Les Murakami Stadium left the field in tears of gratitude for the experience.
“It’s hard to put into words honestly. When I was out there it was just, I was looking at the stands and pretty much it was just flashing by was freshman year clips, sophomore year clips in my mind and then sophomore year clips and then this year, just thinking about my time here,” Davenport told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “It’s been nothing short of a blessing and I feel beyond fortunate to the coaching staff to have recruited me to come here and I couldn’t be happier that I came.”
A 2018 graduate of Cedarcrest High School in Duvall, Washington, Davenport came into the UH program as a decorated prep athlete. A three-sport athlete who earned varsity letters in baseball, basketball and football at Cedarcrest High School, he finished his prep career with an ERA of 0.91 with 271 strikeouts. Confident in his abilities, his success with the Rainbows was not a surprise to him but how much his three years in the islands would forever change him certainly was.
“Coming here out of high school it was oh my gosh you’re going to have so much fun at the beach, whatever it was just typical what you would think of when you think Hawaii. That was the case for about a month until it really just changed me. Living here has changed my mindset of the world. Family just has a whole new meaning now and the lifestyle and the quality of life is what I tell people. When they say how is it living in Hawaii? I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world with the quality of life here. Every day has a purpose and it has absolutely changed me, being here,” said Davenport.
Hawai’i, who has lost seven of their last eight games will face Cal Poly who has won seven of its last eight games for the final series of the season May 28-30. Davenport is slated to start the series opener on Friday at 4:00 pm HST, streaming at BigWest.TV.
“Bigger picture is just go out there and don’t leave anything on the table. Realistically this is going to be my last start for Hawaii and I want to go out with a bang. I don’t want to have that sour taste in my mouth of, I wish I would have tried harder this pitch or focused more or whatever. I’m just going out there locked in every pitch and I’m ready to go out on top.”
Davenport will return home to Washington following the Cal Poly series before playing in the prestigious Cap Cod League ahead of the Major League Baseball Draft which will take place will take place on July 11–13, in Atlanta, Georgia.