By PATRICK SLACK
Weather willing, Pierz senior Cody Weiss will make a run at the school’s career batting average record this spring.
But for the past year, Weiss has been making runs across the country with the Minnesota Twins Training Academy 18AAA traveling baseball team, competing in high-profile tournaments in front of college and professional scouts.
Weiss took part in Erik Lovdahl’s baseball camp in the Twin Cities during the winter of his junior season. Lovedahl asked Weiss to come back in the spring to try out for a traveling team.
“Last spring I showed up at his tryouts – 75 kids showed up and I got selected,” Weiss said. “Right off the bat we started doing conditioning. We didn’t end up playing until August, then we traveled from Aug. 1 until school started.”
Weiss’ team darted across the country, racking up tournament wins. Splitting time between the mound and center field, Weiss posted a 13-1 record as one of the team’s top pitchers.
“My favorite spot is pitching,” Weiss said. “That’s what I’ve always done.”
“It really opened my horizons as far as baseball goes,” he said. “You didn’t just play in your hometown against people you knew.”
During the school year, tournaments were limited, but still took place when there were extended four or five day holiday weekends.
“California and Florida, Kansas and Chicago, we got to play all over the United States and meet a ton of kids,” Weiss said. “It really made me grow as a player.”
Weiss was also one of 132 players from 35 states to participate in Under Armour’s national tryouts in Bradenton, Fla., at the Pittsburgh Pirates Training Center.
The players trained in the Pirates’ locker rooms with the opportunity to meet several players as well as college and professional scouts.
In six games in center field, Weiss batted over .600 with two doubles and four RBIs, while striking out six of nine batters during a three-inning outing on the mound.
Back in Pierz for his senior season, Weiss is looking to set the Pioneers’ all-time mark for career batting average, needing to hit around .525 after hitting .485 a year ago.
Then, it’s off to try and compete on another traveling team to set up his post-high school career.
“Hopefully that will set me up with a college so I can play baseball in college,” Weiss said.