Brothers Cody and Seth Freed after practice at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Feb. 27. Reagan Allen, DN
Ball State baseball's Cody and Seth Freed look forward to being teammates one last time
Seth Freed turned back quickly and stuck his head out of the dugout before leaving practice early, without his brother.
"Hey, can you find a ride home, right?" Freed said. "Oh, and we're having spaghetti at my house tonight."
Cody Freed nodded and said he would be there.
"I mean I definitely go eat dinner whenever he makes it for me," Cody joked.
The Freeds are one big, happy, baseball family — two of which get to hangout on and off the field at Ball State together.
Seth and Cody are brothers that have descended from a family more than familiar with the sport of baseball. Seth, a senior infielder for the Cardinals, gets to spend his last collegiate baseball season with his brother Cody as a teammate.
Cody, a right-handed freshman pitcher is making his collegiate debut this season. He said he's happy with the decision he made to join his brother and the Cardinals.
"This is my second chance of being able to play with [Seth]," Cody said. "Since high school, I've always looked up to him because he's always been great at baseball and better than the average person. He was a hitter and I was a pitcher, but just his attitude towards baseball and everything encouraged me."
Seth made up his mind early about wanting Cody to come to Ball State. Seth talked to his high school defensive coach, who was with Cody during his senior year.
"My coach was playing pro ball with coach Maloney, so I had that connection," Seth said. "When I came here, Cody was throwing well in his senior year and he hadn't committed anywhere yet, so I recommended him to coach Glant and Maloney and they went and watched him at his district game and he pitched well. They liked him."
Ball State baseball head coach Rich Maloney jumped at the idea of adding another Freed to his roster. He was satisfied with Seth in his first year, so he was more then willing to go see what Cody was capable of.
"Anytime one of our players recommends somebody, you have your ears perk up because you know they want to win and they know the competition," Maloney said.
With a target in mind of recruiting a talented pitcher for the bullpen that could rack up innings and perform well, Cody fit the criteria — with potential to become a full-time submarine pitcher.
"That was a main target of ours to find somebody like that and it just happened to be Seth Freed's brother, which is so cool, Maloney said. "We think very highly of Cody and we think he'll have a great future for us and don't be surprised if he gets the most appearances at Ball State providing he stays healthy, because he just might."
Knowing it was Seth's senior year and his freshman year, Cody committed immediately, knowing this was his only chance to play with him. Now, he looks to Seth for guidance on and off the field, especially when he was introduced to playing ball at the collegiate level.
"When we started school this year, I didn't really know what to expect," Cody said. "We're from Michigan, so there's nobody around here that I know so it was good to have him comfort me with coming to the team. He told me everything I needed to know, even down to telling me to bring an extra uniform and things like that before our first tournament."
However, a relationship enhanced by baseball is nothing new for the former Bay City Western High School standouts. Each was grown into a baseball family from Bay City, Michigan, as their older brother David and father Mike Freed each previously played collegiate baseball at Saginaw Valley State.
Mike and his wife Laurie Freed, along with their daughter and oldest of the four children, Stephanie, have had their hands full accommodating baseball into their family's life since the boys were in little league.
It was never an issue, however.
"We used to take the boys to the Little League World Series as our summer vacation because I was a little league coach and that was a little boy's dream," Mike said. "We went a couple years and stayed from start to finish. The boys would trade pins and do all of the stuff that comes with a Little League World Series."
Now, Cody and Seth are seeing the payoff of a baseball career that they started a long time ago. In Ball State's third game of the season against UMass Lowell on Feb. 17, the Freed duo came up with a pair of clutch performances to give the Cardinals a 4-3 win in extra innings.
Cody took the mound in the ninth inning and coaxed an inning-ending double play to keep the Cardinals in the game. Heading into the 10th inning tied at three, Cody pitched a scoreless 10th inning, forcing a second double play.
Cody set the stage for Seth, who was clutch at the plate for Ball State with a single to start the start of the inning. He advanced to second on a fielder's choice and crossed the plate to win the game on a RBI single from teammate Griffin Hulecki.
After we came out to the field and got the three outs that we needed and watching him get that leadoff single and then come in for the winning run, it was just awesome going to the dog pile with him," Cody said. "It was just something I'll always remember, I guess."
Games like this are the reason Mark and Laurie don't often miss a chance to support their boys in the stands.
"As far as us going and watching them, we'd sell our house to go see them," Mike said. "We don't miss too many games. We watched [David] play his whole freshman year and we never missed his season. It's just what you do as a parent, right? I know I didn't like looking up in the stands and seeing nobody there."
With just two tournaments under their belts, the Freed brothers are looking forward to the new support that they have right next to each other. Whether it's in the dugout, on the field or in the stands, the Freed boys have a season full of potential to look forward to with their biological and baseball family right by their side.
"Knowing that [Seth] may never play the game of baseball again, it's great to think that I'll be with him in his last adventure," Cody said. Hopefully we'll go far with this team that we look at as a family."