By R. Alan Richardson
The Morgan County Bulldogs continue to add to their list of accolades, awards, signings, and commitments to play at the next level. You can now add Morgan County senior baseball catcher Blake Silvey to that list. He recently committed to play next year for the East Georgia State College Bobcats (JUCO) in Swainsboro. He made it official this past Wednesday by signing his name on the dotted line.
Coach Merritt Ainslie spoke highly of him with these words, “When I think of Blake I think of someone that has persevered through adversity. He earned the starting job as a senior as a catcher, but was a critical component as a DH and backup catcher during our Final Four run in 2018. Blake wanted to win the catching job his tenth and eleventh grade years and he stuck with us through those tough times of not playing as much as he would’ve liked to. To me that is the definition of Blake, perseverance. Blake really loves playing baseball. I believe Blake will do well in college because he enjoys showing up and working at practice. You can’t help but get better if you have that attitude. I look forward to keeping up with him and seeing where life takes him after he graduates. He’ll be missed as a good teammate and player for us. We all wish him success and hope he comes back to visit us at the ball park.”
Silvey hit .381 in the middle of a strong lineup for the Dogs this past season driving in 12 runs, drawing 10 walks with 11 singles and five doubles. His Region batting average was much higher in the .400+ range. His biggest contribution came from behind the plate where he was voted by the coaches in 8-AAA as the First-Team All-Region catcher. His defensive abilities behind the plate were instrumental in the Dogs’ success and achieving a second place finish in the Region with a 23-10 won-loss record and 15-3 in Region play second only to Jefferson.
He told us, “It makes me feel good that the coaches from the other teams noticed the way I worked behind the plate. They liked the way that I played the game. I tried to throw everybody out that I could. After a couple of guys got caught trying to run on me and steal bases, not many more runners tried anymore.” At one point in the Hart County series, he was four-for-four throwing runners out. He was asked about his decision to attend East Georgia. “I am real happy with signing a scholarship with them. I worked really hard over these past years. I am doing what a lot of players are working to do and that is to play at the college level. That hard work has paid off for me. I had three schools that were recruiting me. I liked East Georgia because of the interaction that I had with the coaches and players. They were very interested in me growing as a player and a student. I have a great opportunity to play every day at East Georgia.”
Silvey talked about his senior year and what got him to this point. “I have been catching for a long time and had a very strong summer last year. I also worked really hard on my hitting. All that just rolled into my senior year. I owe a lot to my parents, my Pop (Tom Silvey), my summer coaches and the coaches at Morgan County. I lost my Pop at the beginning of this school year. He was the one I dedicated this season to, and he would be right beside me on signing day if he was still here.”
Parents Jeff and Wendy Silvey told us, “We are very proud of Blake. His determination to continue to play the game he loves amazes us. He has had a lot of letdowns but he has worked extremely hard. He will give you everything he has. Catching is the toughest position on the baseball field and he makes it look real easy. Like any parent we want him to succeed in everything he does. Blake is fun to watch behind the plate. No doubt he is a good player and a good teammate, but he is also a good kid. He hasn’t always had an easy time through school, but he works hard. What comes easy to some may not be easy to Blake, but he works through it and does his best. That’s what makes us proud that he never gives up. He is a very loyal young man who loves BIG and works hard at everything he does. God has big plans for him and we are thrilled that we get to watch.”