Baseball: Begovich signs with Northeastern State
There’s an ideal progression that most young athletes with baseball dreams tend to see themselves following.
You play Little League and move on to high school ball. You have a successful varsity career and catch on with a good college baseball program.
While you’re there, you happen to catch the eye of a scout and it’s not long before your name is called in the draft. From there, you run the minor league circuit. Then, of course, you get that coveted call up to the major leagues.
Douglas High grad Cody Begovich is now somewhere around the halfway mark.
Coming off a stellar senior campaign, during which he batted .426 with five home runs, 18 doubles, a triple, 22 RBIs and 29 runs scored, Begovich has signed with NCAA Division II school Northeastern State University.
Northeastern State, based in Tahlequah, Okla., competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and has gone up against several Division I powerhouses like Oklahoma State in recent years.
“It was kind of a funny thing,” Begovich said. “Last week, I went out to Feather River to look at houses there, because I was all set to play there next year. I was driving back and my coach from the (Reno-based summer league) Muckdogs, Brett Pagni, called and said Travis Janssen, the coach at Northeastern State, had contacted him about me.
“They made me a scholarship offer and made the decision pretty easy.”
Janssen just completed his first year at the helm at Northeastern State and guided the Riverhawks to a 25-24 record – their first winning season in almost 10 years.
Begovich, who said he hopes to become a game warden one day and will likely major in criminal justice with additional wildlife management classes, said he was drawn to the small-town atmosphere of the school.
“We’d heard a little from them during my senior year,” he said. “The population is only 20,000, which is smaller than Minden/Gardnerville.
“I like the small-town feel. I didn’t want to go to a big city somewhere and have this big culture shock. I’m an outdoors-y type of guy and I read that they have some good fishing and good white-tail hunting. It’ll be similar to here, just further away.
It’s a 27-hour drive, but the atmosphere just makes it feel like home.”
Begovich, who started at center field for the Tigers over the past two seasons, will compete for playing time with a group of upperclassmen in the Riverhawks outfield.
He’s also been working out at first base this summer and could see time there in college.
The left-hander also struck out a respectable 26 batters in six appearances on the mound last season.
“They said if I can pitch, they’d give me a shot to do that too,” Begovich said.
Begovich played for three years at the varsity level for Douglas, opening his career with nine RBIs, a home run and three doubles in his first four games.
“Ever since I was little, my dream has been to get drafted some day and play in the major leagues,” he said. “You play Little League, then travel ball, then high school.
This is just the next stepping stone.
“It feels awesome, getting part of my school paid for and getting to do what I love for a while longer. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”