Facing old college coach, Ike homers twice

ATLANTA -- Ike Davis again put on a show for his former college coach.

A day after reaching base five times against Triple-A Tucson, Davis homered twice and finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored Thursday night as Las Vegas beat the Sidewinders, 7-5.

Davis has increased his Pacific Coast League average to .306 through 10 games.

Before Thursday's hitting display, Tucson manager Pat Murphy -- who was the head coach at Arizona State during Davis' college career -- described Davis as someone lacking confidence. Murphy and Davis had an animated conversation before Thursday's game.

"I see a young man that's lost his confidence," Murphy told 51s broadcaster Russ Langer on the pregame show. "And I see a young man that's kind of searching right now. I'm confident he'll find himself. He always has. This is probably his first struggle ever -- like real struggle, sent down and 'you're not good enough right now, Ike.' That's probably his first time he's ever faced this. So you can't underestimate, as we all know, what you go through, the pain that he feels right now and the fears that he has. I'd like to do anything I could to help him find his best self -- find how he can take this pain on and feel it and then move on from there. I think he will."

Murphy said he is particularly fond of Davis as a person.

"Ike Davis is very, very special to me," Murphy said. "People know, when he came to college, there was huge expectations on Ike. He was the talked-about guy, and we had a lot of good players around him. But Ike rose to every expectation. He took on every challenge, and he did it well. He was a great pitcher for us. He was a great outfielder for us. And, of course, a great hitter and a force that made other players around him better. It's unbelievable to see him. It was good catching up with him. It gets me choked up to think about being around Ike. He babysat my kid at times. We've got fond memories together. Ike was special. His mom and dad are special. That's something you never lose. It's a connection you'll never lose."