Former Reservoir pitcher led the Gators to a state title in 2014; Calvert Hall graduate Manny Rodriguez goes to the New York Mets in the 11th round
by Pat O’Malley
Former Reservoir pitcher Cody Morris, who pitched the Gators to their first and only baseball state championship in 2014 and has pitched the last two years at the University of South Carolina, was drafted Tuesday by the Cleveland Indians on the seventh round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Morris, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander, was the 223rd pick overall.
Morris is currently pitching even bigger games these days and just last weekend pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts to best East Carolina, 4-2, pushing the Gamecocks into the final of the Greenville (N.C.) Regional where on Monday they advanced to the Fayettville Super Regional with an 8-4 victory over UNC-Wilmington.
South Carolina will play a best-of-three with nationally fifth-ranked Arkansas, 6.30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2 and Morris, who is 8-3 on the season, could very well pitch that game. Morris is a 21-year old sophomore and his age made him eligible for the draft. Otherwise, players at four-year universities are not eligible until their junior year. Arm problems his senior year in high school and a subsequent Tommy John surgery are the reasons he has pitched only two collegiate seasons thus far.
Morris pitched a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts to blank North Harford, 2-0, to win the Class 3A State championship at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen in 2014. The Gator ace went 8-1 and the team 22-2 and ranked No. 3 in the Final VSN Top 20 in his junior season. The state final was the 22nd win of his three-year varsity career under coach Adam Leader.
His pitching was limited to the first few weeks of his senior season due to the arm problems that developed in the off-season and at the completion of his final year after committing to South Carolina, he had successful Tommy John surgery. The Gamecocks carefully brought him along and Morris has obviously regained his arm strength and pro potential that resulted in his selection by the Tribe on Tuesday.
Also selected on Tuesday was former Calvert Hall infielder Manny Rodriguez, a senior shortstop at the University of Cincinnati.
Rodriguez was selected in the 10th round, 290th overall by the New York Mets. He was a four-year starter for the Bearcats and he hit .296 as a senior with 15 doubles, three triples and 12 home runs, to go with 38 RBI’s and a .598 slugging percentage.
Rodriguez reached base in every single Cincinnati game in 2018, ending his career with a streak of 51 consecutive games of reaching base. He was also named to the American Athletic Conference First-Team.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rodriguez was a four-year starter at Calvert Hall where he helped the Cardinals win three straight MIAA A Conference championships (2011-2013).
Pictured above: Cody Morris delivers a pitch during earlier this spring for South Carolina, where he is currently 8-3 as a red-shirt sophomore.