In The Spotlight: Yusef Davis, Southern California’s fast-rising star in men’s fastpitch

Written by Bob on August 27th, 2016
Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

LONG BEACH, Calif. – He’s young, he’s fast, he can drop down a bunt, slap or send a stinging line drive into the gap, and with his speed, he can cover the outfield like a cheetah.

Oh, one other thing, Yusef Davis in his few short years playing men’s fastpitch, has been smitten by the game. So much so, that earlier in the season, he paid his own way to play in the USA Softball Men’s Invitational Fastpitch Tournament in Ashland, Ohio in June.

The money he spent has paid dividends: He made second-team, All-Tournament and caught the eye of the New York Peligro Gremlins, a major men’s fastpitch team that finished the season ranked No. 8 by the International Softball Congres.

Peligro picked him up for the ISC World Tournament in Moline, IL, and the 22-year-old played very well. In his first game, he went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs, and overall, finished the tournament with a .375 average. Peligro went 2-2 and finished 16th in the 36-team field.

He was disappointed the the tournament came to an end in a 2-0 loss to the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo, ND. But he’s grateful for the experience and plans for more world tournament’s in his future. He added that facing the world’s top pitchers was quite an eye opener.

“The experience was unbelievable,” said Davis. “It’s a tournament I’ll never forget. The pitching was unreal. I faced Sebastian Gervasutti from Circle Tap Dukes and he threw really well, and had a good curve pitch and a sneaky drop pitch.”

Davis played, he watched, he obsorbed, he listened, and from what he learned in his rookie year at the World Tournament, he has taken back to Long Beach to further his game.

“I am taking back what I need to learn to execute on to improve my game,” Davis said, who plays for Paul Castillo’s Those Guys of Long Beach during the regular season, “and that’s bunting for base hits, working counts, and getting on base for my team.”

But if not for that trip to Ashland to play against some top club teams in the USA tournament, he may not have been discovered. But he was. Peligro gave him that opportunity and he is grateful they did.

“Playing in the ISC tournament is an honor and experience like no other,” he said. “And I want to thank Vern Shaut, Gregg leather and the whole Peligro Gremlins team for the time spent this summer. I had a blast!”

But the World Tournament wasn’t the end of the season for young Mr. Davis. After Peligro was eliminated, he hustled north to North Mankato, Minnesota to play for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes in the NAFA A-Divsion World Series.

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How did that go?

Well, he helped the Coyotes finish 4th (5-2) in the 50-team tournament that drew teams from throughout the U.S. and Canada. And in so doing was selected to the NAFA All-World team.

A great post-season for one of the game’s rising stars.

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