HAMMOND | Cody Glass spent a week last summer in the Dominican Republic playing baseball.
When the heat of the Caribbean nation was too much, he and his fellow Dominican Baseball Campers sat in the shade. They watched their opponents, players from the island nation, play, play and play some more.
"They didn't care about how hot it was, they played all the time," said Glass, a junior pitcher at Hammond Academy of Science & Technology. "When I got back, all I could think about was getting better."
Though Hammond Academy won't become an IHSAA team for another four years, Glass wanted to help prove that the Hawks belong on as many schedules as possible across the region. In nine games (and five starts) he has earned wins in four of those games. His second loss of the season came Wednesday to Times No. 9 Munster.
A lefty, Glass has been both a starter and reliever for the Hawks, striking out 46 in 32 2/3 innings. His ERA was 1.81 before falling to Munster, but ballooned to 4.72 after a 14-run inning against the Mustangs.
Glass plays for Post 180 in the summer, closing for the likes of Jordan Minch, who is the Friday night starter at Purdue.
"He has great command and Cody is unique that he can throw a fast ball that will blow by you, then throw a curve ball that will blow by you," Hawks coach Eric Arcella said. "He is a dual threat as a finesse pitcher."
Another trip to the Dominican Republic is on the horizon for Glass, attending this summer with a team headed by Notre Dame assistant Eddie Smith.
By next season, Arcella expects high performances from his pitcher even as college scouts start making appearances for the first group of seniors to run through the Hammond Academy program.
"We expect him to continue to grow and stay on his successful path," Arcella said. "Next season will be different for everyone. It'll be the first time we'll see college scouts at a baseball game. This will be something for our kids to see to build our athletic program off of."
Glass was raised on Chestnut Avenue in Hammond, just blocks from Riverside Park (where the Hawks call home) and Optimist Baseball Fields.
"Growing up so close, I spent every day on the baseball field," Glass said. "I did anything I could, helping out as much as I can.
"I can't imagine not playing baseball."
He opted to attend Hammond Academy even though he wouldn't be playing for an IHSAA postseason.
"The school was something new and something I wanted to try," Glass said.