For The News Courier
There is a train that runs by the Ardmore baseball field about once a game that seems more than fitting to fans witnessing a left-hander who pitches with the power of a locomotive.
Ardmore High School’s junior Cody Reed and his methodical pitching last season earned him a 10-1 record and 1.25 ERA for the Tigers, and state 4A Player of the Year and 4A Pitcher of the Year honors.
“I felt good this year,” Reed said. “I felt really good out there on the mound. I was confident in everything I had and I felt like I was throwing hard.”
Reed throws a curveball, slider, changeup and a fastball that clocks in the low 90s.
The lefty dominated on the mound with a staggering 159 strikeouts in just 73 innings pitched.
Reed’s most impressive statistic though is that opposing batters could only muster a .073 batting average.
He also excelled as a first baseman and in the batter’s box where he led Ardmore with a .450 average, while racking up a team-high 13 doubles.
Reed has committed to Vanderbilt despite having one more year of high school, but his mindset is clear.
“Just keep working and working,” he said.
“There are a lot of great players in 4A, but he was, all-around, the best I’ve ever seen,” said his coach, Andrew Smith. “His work ethic is what makes him so good. He works harder than anybody, year-round. You put that with his natural work ethic, and it makes it hard to stop.”
Reed helped Ardmore improve from a losing season his sophomore year to making the 4A semifinals in May.
“This year, mentally, he’s grown up,” said Smith. “He’s still just 16 years old. His freshman and sophomore year, he had the physical tools, and he’s gotten it mentally, now.”
For Reed and his family, the excitement of playing college baseball for the Commodores has already taken root, even though his parents are fans of the Crimson Tide.
“They are really proud,” Reed said. “They are die-hard Alabama fans, but they told me they have turned into die-hard Vandy baseball fans.”
Currently, he is trying out in North Carolina for a spot on Team USA. There are 144 players competing this week to make a 40-man roster that will travel to Los Angeles before being trimmed to 20 players.
Those 20 players will eventually make the trip to Taiwan to represent Team USA.
“There is a lot of talent here, but I feel like I have a really good chance,” Reed said.
Like a train picking up speed, so too is Cody Reed chugging toward his senior season at Ardmore and beyond as he works to stay on track.
— Jonathan Deal contributed to this story.