ROCKINGHAM — Cody Leviner felt like it was “weight off of his shoulders.”
What Leviner was referring to was his decision to verbally commit to Western Carolina University to play baseball.
“I’m glad to get it out of the way,” Leviner said. “When you aren’t committed, it’s all you think about.”
Leviner added he was right at home when he and his family visited the Cullowhee campus.
“I really liked the campus and the coaches,” Leviner said. “And they gave me a good deal. It’s just like around here…it’s a small town, not a big city. They said I can hunt up there…I can bear hunt.”
Leviner, a rising senior, helped Richmond Senior advance to the 4A championship series against West Forsyth this spring. It was the Raiders’ first appearance in the title series since 2000.
Leviner was Richmond’s No. 2 pitcher behind Nic Bullard and was also the team’s starting shortstop.
On the mound, Leviner was a 9-2 with one save and a 1.60 earned run average last season. He had 74 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings and only walked nine. He finished his junior season with a .365 batting average and 15 runs batted in. Leviner posted seven doubles and a home run at the plate.
Leviner snagged all-Southeastern Conference honors for the second straight season.
“I think it is a really good fit for him,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “I think he will have the opportunity to compete right away. He’s pitched in a lot of big games for us. He will need to take a leadership role for us next year and take the role Nic had the last two years.”
Leviner said the WCU coaching staff plan on using him on the mound.
“They said I could pitch and possibly bat because they like my left-handed bat,” Leviner said. “They were real laid back and up front with me. I believe they will push me hard and get my full potential out of me.”
Leviner added the WCU coaches reached out to him this summer and things moved forward from there.
“One of my showcase (team) coaches said they have been watching me since my sophomore season,” Leviner said. “They called me a month ago and we have been talking ever since.”
The Catamounts were 37-18 last season and finished first in the Southern Conference with a 20-6 mark. It was the team’s second straight SoCon regular season championship.
WCU dropped both of its games in the SoCon tournament and failed to advance to the NCAA tournament.
“I like the winning program,” Leviner said. “It seems like a good fit.”
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.