Herald, Seton Hill staying consistent

GREENSBURG — Consistency.
With Cody Herald and the
Seton Hill University baseball program, that word just works.
Butler High School graduate returned to right field for the Griffins for a fourth consecutive season last weekend when the team opened its 2015 campaign in South Carolina.
Herald collected a pair of doubles and four RBI in two wins over
Coker College.
“Cody was going to be a backup player for us as a freshman,” Seton Hill coach Marc Marizzaldi recalled. “We were working him in at second and third base.
“Our right fielder got hurt during the first week of the season, then our backup right fielder broke his hand in his first at bat. I looked at Cody and said: 'You're in right.'
“He's been out there ever since.”
Herald hit .312 his freshman year, .324 as a sophomore and .346 last year. He has tallied 166 hits, 34 doubles, 51 stolen bases and 98 RBI in his collegiate career.
Seton Hill has collected 41, 42 and 46 wins over the past three seasons. The Griffins have been to the NCAA Tournament five straight years and advanced to the Division II World Series last year.
Seton Hill has won 129 of 174 games since Herald joined the program.
“You get excited when you win in high school baseball, but college ball is just a different feel,” Herald said. “The games drain you mentally, physically.
“The games are so upbeat and you're constantly involved. You get into every single pitch and it's such a great feeling when you win.”
Herald has struck out only 40 times in 505 official at bats in college. He's walked 42 times and has been hit by a pitch on 17 occasions.
“He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and has always been a competitor,” Marizzaldi said. “Cody gets into the batter's box and just grinds on every pitch.
“His attitude is he's not going to let the guy strike him out.”
Herald said he focuses “on breathing and relaxing” when he steps into the box.
“I'll focus in on a part of my bat, count to three and step in there,” he said. “I believe in the simple Pete Rose philosophy. See the ball, hit the ball.”
As solid as they are, Herald's numbers do not concern him. He has no goals in his senior season in terms of batting average or runs produced.
“Every at bat hinges on the situation,” he said. “I could go 0-for-4, but if I moved a runner to third in a key spot and helped us win a game that way, I had a good day.”
Herald is a preseason first-team Atlantic Region player. Seton Hill is picked to win the region by most publications and is ranked as high as second in some national Division II polls.
“When I see my name on those (preseason) lists, it makes me feel like my hard work has paid off,” Herald said. “But I have to continue doing that.
“I'm not the fastest or biggest player in the world. But I don't want people who saw me play remember me for athleticism. I want them to remember how hard I played.
“We know what we're capable of accomplishing this year,” Herald added. “But we're not focused on rankings. We're focusing day to day.”
Herald is majoring in elementary education. He will get his student teaching in next fall and get his degree.
He may get an opportunity to play professional baseball this summer.
“I hope someone gives him a shot because he deserves one,” Marizzaldi said. “Cody Herald is just solid. You count on consistent play from him and he gives it to you every day.
“You can't measure this guy by a stopwatch or radar gun. You just have to watch him. He's a ballplayer. He's got the makeup to make it as a pro ballplayer.”
Herald isn't banking on it.
“For anybody who plays any sport, that's a dream,” he said of turning pro. “For me, if it happens, it happens. Either way, I have to wake up the next day and continue with life.
“I want to be a teacher and I'd love to coach, baseball or basketball. I loved putting on that
Butler jersey and playing basketball with those guys. I miss those days.”