The University of Saint Mary baseball program has its second professional baseball player in two years.
Davon Poole, a standout shortstop with the Spires in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, has signed with the Tucson Saguaros of the independent Pecos League.
Poole, 23, is the second USM player in as many years to sign a professional contract. Right-handed pitcher Cade Brummer played for a professional team last summer in Germany.
"It's a great opportunity to play the game at the professional level," Poole said. "That's the ultimate dream for every baseball player."
Poole will graduate USM May 7 with a degree in sports management. An eight-day spring training for the Saguaros begins May 10 in Tucson.
The Saguaros open the season May 19 at home against Santa Fe Fuego.
The Pecos League schedule runs from May through July.
Poole signed with the Saguaros as a shortstop, but he said he may see some time at second base as well.
Poole said he will make about $400 per week.
"It's not a bunch of money, but I'm playing for the love of the game," he said.
Poole, like all of the other players on the team, will save money by living with a host family in Tucson.
The Pecos League also includes teams from Alamogordo, New Mexico, Roswell, New Mexico, Alpine, Texas, Trinidad, Colorado, Salina, Kansas, Garden City, Kansas, Topeka, Kansas, and Great Bend, Kansas.
The Saguaros play about 60 games in 70 days.
"It's really a grind," said Poole, a native of Sacramento, California.
After transferring from Sacramento State College, Poole turned in a big season in his junior year at USM in 2014, batting .413 with 41 RBI. He also had 30 stolen bases and 97 total bases.
His numbers slipped in 2015. Poole batted .302 with 21 RBI with 37 stolen bases and 76 total bases.
Poole said scouts from the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association expressed interest in him after his USM career ended.
"That just didn't pan out," he said.
USM head coach Rob Miller said Poole is a dynamic player with a high level of athletic talent.
"He's as good a human being as you'll find," Miller said. "I think good things happen to good people. And this is a good thing that has happened to a tremendous kid."
Since his USM playing days ended, Poole has been working on his degree, helping with this year's team and working out.
"Being away from the game playing, it can be a little difficult," Poole said. "But every day, I try to find time to get in the gym, take ground balls, hit, that's part of my every day schedule."
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