Hard-working Herald making mark with BlueSox

Cody Herald, of Butler High School and Seton Hill University, is playing for the Butler BlueSox of the Prospect League this summer. Submitted photo
Cody Herald, of Butler High School and Seton Hill University, is playing for the Butler BlueSox of the Prospect League this summer. Submitted photo
Chris Adamski
| Saturday, June 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Cody Herald's first coach was his father. What Cody learned from his dad is what he tries to live by every time he's on the baseball field.

“He said, ‘There's one thing you need to do all the time,'” Herald recalled. “'You need to go out there and just give it everything you have all the time because hard work beats talent.

“I try to do that with everything.”

Herald does, his coach for the Butler BlueSox wooden-bat summer-league team said. A Butler Area High School graduate who's a sophomore outfielder at Seton Hill University, Herald has been batting cleanup for the BlueSox.

“He plays the game the right way,” BlueSox manager Anthony Rebyanski said. “Some guys take things lightly and kind of go through the motions in the summer, but Cody gives max effort in between the lines every single play. That's something I like to see, and it rubs off on other players and makes them want to play hard, as well.”

Rebyanski also is an assistant coach at Indiana (Pa.), which is how he first became aware of Herald when the Crimson Hawks played the Griffins early this past season. Rebyanski said Seton Hill coach Marc Marizzaldi gave him a glowing recommendation.

At Seton Hill as a sophomore, Herald hit .324 with 36 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 50 games. He helped the Griffins to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional and within one game of the NCAA Division II World Series. This after he hit .312 as a freshman with 32 RBI and 13 steals in 52 games.

“He's got a good characteristic with every part of the game,” Rebyanski said. “He can run real well ... he can hit for power but probably is more of a line-drive, gap kind of guy. Arm-wise, he's got a canon. He's got all the tools in place.”

It's what has helped Herald land on the BlueSox of the Prospect League, which bills itself as one of the best wooden-bat summer leagues in the country. Teams play 60 games between Memorial Day and the first week of August, when league playoffs begin.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Herald last season played summer ball for the Tri-State Collegiate League. He's noticed the difference in the level of pitching he is facing this summer. The Prospect League regularly attracts Major League-affiliated scouts.

“Cody's been outstanding the last two years at Seton Hill,” Rebyanski said. “He's a kid who's a hard worker, a bulldog out there, a solid kid. Is pro ball in the cards for him? There's a chance. He has some tools guys look for — speed, arm strength, an ability to hit the ball.”

Rebyanski said Herald is somewhat miscast with the BlueSox as a cleanup hitter but is filling the role while the team gets through some injury issues. Herald also has played different positions over the years, although all involved seem to believe that outfield is his best fit and calling.

While in high school, Herald was a standout in basketball in addition to baseball for the Golden Tornado. Even then, Herald's basketball coach lauded his work ethic. Butler's basketball coach is former major league pitcher Matt Clement, who is part of the ownership group of the Blue Sox.

Hitting fourth in the order is the perfect example of a challenge Herald perhaps is not best equipped to handle — but one that he tends to excel at anyway.

“Maybe I'm not going to be the best at it,” Herald said. “But I'm going to give everything I have to do good.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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