Before the high school baseball season began, people would ask, how does a kid from little Valley High School in Bingham get recruited to play at the University of Maine?

The answer was simple. Watch him pitch.

The size of his school didn’t match Cody Laweryson’s talent level, but that didn’t matter. Laweryson was almost unhittable this spring, and he led Valley to the Class D South regional championship game.

“I can tell when he’s putting a little more on it. I am growing so I’m accustomed to it now,” Scott Laweryson, Cody’s father and coach at Valley, said. “I’ll look at him and think ‘I don’t think he’s throwing that hard.’ Against Searsport, I didn’t think he was throwing very hard, then somebody told me he was throwing 91 (miles per hour).”

Added Cody: “Going into the season, I wasn’t really expecting a lot out of us, but we turned out to be a top two team in our region. We did a really good job. Everyone stepped up.”

Laweryson was as dominant as any pitcher in the state. He was East/West Conference Player of the Year and a finalist for the Dr. John Winkin Award. Laweryson also played in both the Class C/D Senior All-Star Game and the Maine vs. New Hampshire Senior All-Star Game.

For his outstanding season, Cody Laweryson is the Morning Sentinel Baseball Player of the Year. Winslow senior pitcher/shortstop Jacob Trask also was considered.

Laweryson’s stats were almost otherworldly. He pitched 41 innings in 10 games, going 4-1 with three saves. Laweryson struck out 91 batters (37 looking, 54 swinging). He threw 499 pitches, 394 for strikes. He gave up just 10 hits and one measley walk, and he finished the season with an earned run average of 0.51. At the plate, Laweryson hit .500 (23 for 46), with 10 doubles, one triple, and one home run. Laweryson drove in 20 runs and was 12 for 12 in stolen base attempts.

“I’m trying not to do too much. I know as the three or four hitter, I’m trying to drive in a lot of runs. I’m just trying to get base hits. I’m trying to create and steal bases,” Laweryson said.

The 91-mph fastball Laweryson displayed in the regional championship game was the hardest he threw all season. He was consistently in the high 80s, and in the senior all-star game, where he struck out five hitters in two innings of work, Laweryson was clocked at 87.

“I know I have a pretty hard fastball. I was working on my offspeed stuff to keep guys off balance. I was trying to do everything for the team to get the ‘W,'” Laweryson said.

When Cody was 10, his father knew he could be a special pitcher.

“When he was 10, he was throwing 60. That was when we realized he really could pitch. This is what he loves,” Scott Laweryson said.

On May 24, Laweryson threw the best game of his career, a perfect game in a 3-0 win over Rangeley. Laweryson struck out 18 of the 21 hitters he faced, and still needed just 65 pitches to get through the game, throwing 59 strikes.

“He was just throwing strikes. It’s hard to have anything better than that,” Scott Laweryson said.

Knowing the Cavaliers would likely see East/West Conference rival Richmond in the playoffs, Scott limited Cody’s regular season innings against the Bobcats to just a few in relief in their first meeting. Richmond won both games in the regular season, but in the regional semifinals, Laweryson kept the Bobcats in check, allowing two hits and striking out 16 in a 4-1 Valley win.

“I threw two innings in the first game, and that’s all I threw against (Richmond). It turned out to be a pretty good decision, because they didn’t see me a lot,” Laweryson said.

Laweryson started drawing the attention of college coaches while pitching for the Maine Lightning, a Portland-based AAU team, last summer. He took visits to Maine and Southern New Hampshire University before deciding to become a Black Bear. He knows the step up in competition will be a challenge.

“He’s got to do whatever they ask him to do. He’s just got to listen to them. That’s what they’re so excited for when they talk to me, his upside,” Scott Laweryson said. “Look at him now. He can throw the ball, and they’re going to turn him into a pitcher. He’s got to work. He knows he’s going to have to work.”

Cody, who will play for the Skowhegan American Legion team as well as the Lightning this summer, said getting stronger is his first goal for next season.

“Become a pitcher instead of a thrower that I am now. I want to be able to hit spots really well. I want to be a complete pitcher,” Laweryson said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM