SPRING VALLEY - Cody Sharp will line up against Huntington High 6-foot-6, 305-pound tackle Darnell Wright Friday night in a Class AAA playoff football game, but that's not the only heavy hitter the Spring Valley defensive end will take on.
Sharp, a hard-throwing left-handed pitcher, signed Thursday to play baseball at Marshall University. Short picked the Thundering Herd over offers from Miami (Ohio) University and Ohio University.
"I had a few offers, but coach (Jeff) Waggoner from Marshall got ahold of me and I just wanted to play for my hometown team."
Last season, Sharp went 3-3 with a 3.45 ERA in helping the Timberwolves to the Class AAA, Region IV championship game. In 46 2/3 innings, Sharp struck out 69, walked 33 and allowed 38 hits. He throws a fastball that has touched 90 mph, as well as a slider and change-up.
Sharp said he likes Marshall's program, especially Waggoner and pitching coach Joe Renner, who has helped 25 pitchers to the pro ranks.
Sharp, 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, said Marshall plans to use him in relief, a role he relishes.
"I like it that I can come in for an inning and throw as hard as I can," Sharp said. "I try to get ahead in the count and play mind games with the hitters."
Timberwolves coach Austin Pratt said Sharp brings more to a team than merely his strong left arm. "He's always entertaining," Pratt said. "He keeps it light in the dugout."
On the mound, however, Sharp turns serious.
"His stuff is good and he wants to be on the mound in pressure situations," Pratt said. "That's rare in kids."
Pratt said he thinks Sharp could go a long way in baseball.
"I wouldn't be surprised if three years from now he signs a professional contract," Pratt said. "He has the talent to do it, especially throwing from the left side."