Bulls' Cody Crouse Commits to Florida International University

In the first scholarship signing of the school year, Bloomingdale High School senior signed to play at FIU.

The baseball season hasn't even started, but one Bloomingdale High School player is already batting 1,000.

Surrounded by family, teammates, his coaches and Bloomingdale High School Principal Mark West, Cody Crouse signed a baseball scholarship to attend Florida International University in Miami.

The Bulls pitcher called it a dream come true.

"I've dreamed of this ever since I was a little kid," said Crouse who hopes to one day play professionally.

After looking into a number of college programs, he said FIU was his first pick and was thrilled to receive the scholarship offer. The Panthers, currently in the Sun Belt Conference, will join Conference USA in July 2013.

Under head coach Turtle Thomas, the Panthers won an impressive 40 games last season.

"The program is building and I think it will be one of the big baseball colleges," said Crouse. "The coaches are great. The first time I met them, I just had this vibe."

Bulls coach Kris Wilken said the honor is well deserved.

"Cody came in as a freshman and showed a lot of talent right away, winning five games on varsity," said Wilken. "In the years since, he's also developed a great work ethic."

Crouse, a Tampa Bay Times all-county player his junior year, went 8-2 for the Bulls last season, striking out 56 and walking 18. Additionally, he posted a 1.56 ERA in 67.1 innings.

The 2011 Bulls starting quarterback gave up football to focus on his first love, baseball.

"Cody's heart's in baseball," said his mother, Melanie. "He's been playing since he was 5 years old. He just loves the sport. So this is a huge occasion for us."

In addition to playing for the Bulls, Crouse plays on the Orlando Scorpions Showcase Team, one of the most respected and successful travel team organizations in the country.

Although Wilken is losing Crouse to FIU after this season, the Crouse name will still appear on the team roster.

Crouse's younger brothers, Logan, 15, and Carson, 14, also play baseball. In August, Logan Crouse, a pitcher as well, committed to play for the Florida State University Seminoles in August. Younger brother Carson is hoping for his own scholarship offer.

"With three kids playing, baseball takes up pretty much all of our free time," said Melanie Crouse.

Terry and Melanie Crouse live with their four children in Bloomingdale East. While rooting her brothers on, the youngest Crouse and only girl, Mackenzie, said she isn't interested in playing the sport.



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