A Thunderous Bat; A Lightning Arm

Lamar Consolidated (Houston, TX) High School senior Cody Abraham is being recruited as a hitter by college coaches. And last weekend at the Premier Junior World Series held in Joplin, Missouri he showed why. But he also showed another talent that surprised even him.

"Hitting-wise, I had a real good tournament - I was probably 9-for-17 or 9-for-18 - but before one of the games, my coach came up to me and asked me if I could pitch an inning just to save our pitching," said Cody Abraham. "I hadn't pitched in about a year or so because I had been focusing on hitting and hadn't really thought about pitching but I told him I would do it."

And considering that lack of pitching, Cody didn't expect much. He was simply going to rare back, throw as hard as he could and see what happened. Little did he expect what happened next.

"We were up something like 8 to 2 and they brought me in in the last inning and (my coach) said to throw all fastballs," said the 5-11, 165-pound lefthander.

The opposing players knew he hadn't pitched in a while so they came up to the plate expecting Cody to struggle. Which is exactly the opposite of what happened.

"The kids didn't think I could pitch and they kind of made it a joke (but) I ended up facing three batters and struck out all three," said Cody. "I struck out the first batter on three strikes and I was hitting the corners. The next guy I struck out on three strikes. I wound up throwing 11 pitches in the inning, 9 of which were strikes."

The final surprise of the night came as he was about to leave the park.

"I'm leaving the park and someone comes up to me and asked me if I knew how hard I threw," said Cody. "I told him I had no idea and he said I hit 92 and that I was consistently hitting 89, 90."

He even impressed his travel team coaches with his pitching ability.

"My coaches came up to me after that and asked me if I had ever thought about pitching," said Cody. "I told them I hadn't but anytime you hit 92 from the left side you have to reconsider something like that."

Another thing he has to consider is what college he will be hitting and possibly pitching at when the fall of 2010 rolls around. While Cody knows there's a possibility what he did at Joplin could cause additional colleges to show interest in him, he appears to have narrowed his list down to a few schools.

"I may get a few more calls but I've kind of limited my recruiting," said Cody, who hit .430 with 5 home runs this past season. "I'm telling myself if I want to leave home Mississippi State is where I am going to go, and if I decide to stay in Texas Rice is where I want to go. But there are some other schools in Texas who really want me. I just have to decide if I am going to leave or if I'm going to stay home. I'm not really sure how I am going to figure it out."

Both schools have their positives, which makes the decision very, very tough.

"We live 25 to 30 minutes away from the (Rice) campus and you want to stay here so your family can see you play everyday, but I want to go to Mississippi State because it is Mississippi State, it's where I have always wanted to go," said Cody.

He talked a little more in detail about each ot the two schools.

Rice - "Rice is a really good academic school. And besides me playing baseball, I would like to get a good education. And due to the history of Rice and how an unbelievably baseball program they are, you have to consider playing for them. I actually talked to one of my friends who goes there, Anthony Rendon, a freshman All-American, and he said it's a pretty cool school to go to."

Mississippi State - "I've been a Mississippi State fan my entire life. I have family there (and) my dad (Tommy Abraham) actually went to Mississippi State. The second I was born was the second I grew up around it. Living in Texas it's a long way from it but my love has always been Mississippi State."

As of now, the one thing delaying a decision by Cody is finding out if he will be accepted to Rice. He expects to find that out this week.

"I had to send in my transcripts and my grades just to see if I could get in the school," said Cody. "I'll probably hear back from their coaches this week. If I have the grades to get in, then I'll probably visit there soon.

"I actually have a tournament this weekend that is played at the University of Rice and the University of Houston, so they'll probably see me there. If Rice ends up offering, then I am going to have to sit down and think about what I am going to do."

And that decision could be made as quick as two weeks from now.

"If it all goes how I want it to go, if Rice allows me to come visit, then after I visit there I will probably take a few days to really think about it," said Cody. "Who knows, maybe I will commit in the next two weeks or so."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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