E.A. Sports Today

Dodd eager to sign

Alexandria right-hander set to fulfill a dream by signing with Jax State later this week

Alexandria right-hander Cody Dodd throws a pitch to the first batter he faces in the North-South All-Star Game in July.

Alexandria right-hander Cody Dodd throws a pitch to the first batter he faces in the North-South All-Star Game in July.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Cody Dodd has been waiting for Wednesday his entire life.

The Alexandria right-hander has wanted to play baseball for Jacksonville State for as long as he can remember. He’ll move one step closer to fulfilling that dream later this week when he signs scholarship papers with the Gamecocks.

The early signing period starts Wednesday.

“I’ve been waiting for this since I was a little kid,” Dodd said. “This is my dream right here, to get to play for JSU. This is the day I’ve been waiting for forever.”

Dodd’s affinity for the Gamecocks goes way back. He used to attend coach Jim Case’s camps when he was younger and went to all the games and got to know all the players when his cousin Jake Welch played there.

Some time around the eighth grade he realized baseball was “my thing,” and if he could play beyond high school it was going to be at JSU.

It was important, too, for him to nail it all down during this early signing period so he could focus on having a strong senior season.

“It’s going to be so much easier knowing I already have a team in my mind,” Dodd said. “I don’t have to worry about who’s going to be scouting me and all that. It’ll be in the back on my mind and I’ll do my thing on the mound.”

Last year, his thing was going 8-2 with a 2.58 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 65 innings. He said the experience of his two post-season losses last year has taught him to be a better, smarter pitcher going forward.

Dodd was particularly strong in last summer’s North-South All-Star doubleheader when he effortlessly pitched three innings of one-hit shutout relief for the win in the opener. He faced 11 batters and retired the last seven in a row. He struck out three.

“That was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had playing baseball,” he said. “Getting to be a part of that and pitching the way I did that was awesome. I just when out there and threw it like I usually do.”

This season, as the Valley Cubs look to complete a run for a state title that fell short last year, Dodd would like to keep his ERA below 2.00 and not lose a game.

Coach Andy Shaw would like to see the pitcher have a big year, too, but his expectations for him mainly run along the lines of what he holds for all his seniors.

“We hope they take ownership of our team and we hope he is one of our leaders as far as attitude, effort and approach,” Shaw said. “The results will take care of themselves if he does that.”

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