By Brent Huelsmann
As he goes into his senior year behind the plate for the Nashville Hornets, Cody Bauza has decided where he will play after he graduates. Bauza will join Hornets teammate Ryan Brink at the Lindenwood University-Belleville next season as part of the Lynx baseball team.
Bauza is coming off of a year in which he batted .402 with four HR and 25 RBIs. Bauza led the Hornets with 15 doubles, while playing primarily behind the plate. The Hornets won a school-record 27 games last season, along with a conference championship and a regional championship.
Bauza said he chose Lindenwood-Belleville, because "It seemed like the best fit, being close to home, and Ryan (Brink) is going there, so continuing on a career with him would be pretty fun. Like i said, its close to home, so the family can be there for the first season, and just see where it goes from there."
Hornets coach Chad Malawy talked about the player that the Lynx are getting. "For the Hornets he is a great left-handed bat, he's worked very hard to become a really good hitter, and he's as solid a catcher that we've had. But I've definitely gotta tip my hat to Coach Meinhart, who does a great job working with our catchers. I think every year we have an all-state caliber catcher in our program, and that's because Coach Meinhart does such a great job. We find these guys who want to work hard, and they want to go catch, and by no means can you just turn into a great catcher. The player has to have that inside them and has to have the athletic ability and the grit to be a great catcher, and Cody has that, so I expect him to have a great season."
Lindenwood-Belleville coach Logan Johnson said that he expects Bauza to stay at the catcher position, and that he should have a chance to play right away. "The good thing about college baseball, is that it is tough to start the same catcher every day. So he is going to walk in and he's not going to have the weight of being that primary guy. He's definitely a guy that is going to compete for that second spot and have a chance to play very regularly."
Although he is expected to play catcher at the next level. Bauza said that he is open to anything. "I'll go anywhere they want me to go, catcher would be my main position, but if they want me to play another position, I'll develop my game and go from there. "
Both Bauza and Malawy both echoed the sentiment that it is good for Bauza to sign early so that he can relax and have fun in the spring and have a good season for the Hornets.
While at Lindenwood-Belleville, Bauza wants to study Sports Management. The Lynx play their home games at GCS Ballpark. The Lynx finished with a 16-40 record in 2016, and they play in the American Midwest Conference.