SHEPHERDSVILLE - After completing his high school baseball career this spring at North Bullitt, senior Cody Montgomery will head to Harrisburg, Ill., to play for the next two years at Southeastern Illinois Junior College.
That was recently made official when Montgomery signed all the necessary paperwork in a ceremony in the North Bullitt library with his parents and Eagle coaches looking on.
The head coach at SIU is Nico Gregali and the program is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association. That team plays in the same Great Rivers Athletic Conference where recent Bullitt East standouts Zack McCarthy, Matt Bowles and Josh Whitmer presently play for various schools.
Southeastern Illinois saw a video of Montgomery in action through his summer baseball team, the Louisville Baseball Club. After watching the video, the school called and asked Montgomery to visit for a try-out. They were impressed enough at that point to offer him a nearly full ride.
(When you sign with a junior college, you are still eligible to sign with a four-year school. While that option is not completely off the table, Montgomery says that his is focused on attending Southeastern Illinois.)
Last year was Montgomery’s first with the Louisville Baseball Club and he will play with them again this summer.
Still, Montgomery’s calling card when it comes to baseball at this stage of his career came on the mound last season when he beat eventual state runner-up Butler during the regular season and then sent state-power Pleasure Ridge Park to the sidelines in the first round of the 24th District Tournament.
Montgomery is most certainly a ‘big game’ pitcher as he only had a 3-4 record last season with a 4.55 ERA in 59 innings of work.
Where he turned in a full season last year for the Eagles was in the outfield where he solidified the defense by moving from the infield to centerfield. He responded with a team leading .479 batting average with 58 hits including four home runs, four triples and 13 doubles. He also had 24 stolen bases with a .752 slugging percentage in 40 games.
“Last year early in the season we decided to put him in the outfield,” North Bullitt head coach Brian Wise said. “He puts a lot of pressure on himself and so I thought he would benefit to a move to the outfield. I could see him playing there at the next level.”
On the very first ball hit to him in a game in the outfield, Montgomery dropped the ball. He did not make an error at that point.
The 17-year old is the son of Bonnie and Kenny Montgomery and is playing centerfield with his summer team and is also pitching.
“They have told me I can play the outfield or third base and even pitch some,” the Eagle senior said. “I’d rather play centerfield and pitch than play at third, but I’m open to any of those positions.”
Montgomery started playing baseball in the old Bullitt County Parks and Recreation League before shifting to the Blue Lick program when he was 9-years old. He played six years in that program including a stint on the 2004 Under-12 team that won the Babe Ruth State Championship under coaches Tony Parker and Challis Ford.
This will be his fourth season in the North Bullitt baseball program. He is also a member of the North Bullitt basketball team. Even while he is playing basketball now, he will throw on the side two or three times a week. Every Sunday he is in a batting cage with Rick Parr.
Academically, Montgomery ranks 24th in his class of 254. While he is officially undecided, he is leaning toward a career in psychology. The senior had four academic scholarships in line before opting for the athletic numbers.