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Great Mills graduate O’Dell picks Frostburg State for baseball

Chase O'Dell (Great Mills baseball)

Great Mills High School graduate Chase O’Dell signed to play baseball with NCAA Division II Frostburg State University. O’Dell batted .426 a season ago for the Hornets and landed a spot on The Enterprise All-County first team.

Great Mills High School graduate Chase O’Dell is going from Southern Maryland to Western Maryland to continue his baseball career in college.

O’Dell signed with Frostburg State University, an NCAA Division II school which competes in the Mountain East Conference.

“Frostburg was a beautiful college,” said O’Dell, who plans to do exercise science and kinesiology at Frostburg State. “I had five or six other offers from Pennsylvania and Maryland and Frostburg moving into D-II was a big plus and it’s just seemed like a really nice school.”

The former Hornet chose Frostburg State over Penn State-Harrisburg and Wilson College in Pennsylvania and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

“I really liked the coach. [Bobcats head coach Anthony] Williams is a really nice guy and the guys around there, I watched them play a couple years back and it was a really good group of guys,” O’Dell said.

O’Dell joins a Frostburg State program that was just a few games into its first season of playing as a Division II school when the coronavirus pandemic canceled the remainder team’s 2020 campaign just prior to Mountain East play starting.

“I think this is a good opportunity for Chase to play against some good competition in a program that is usually pretty solid,” Great Mills head baseball coach Kevin Rodgers said. “They were tops in the CAC for a few years, became D-II and took some lumps. But they will get back to where they were. They have some good coaches up there and the facilities are really good, too.”

Rodgers said Frostburg State is getting a guy in O’Dell who can and will play anywhere on the field.

“He just wants to contribute,” Rodgers said. “Chase is also one of those guys that you never have to ask to put in the work. He wants to be great and he has no problems working for his goals. He wears his heart on his sleeve and wants to help the team. It was a pleasure to coach him and work with him on a daily basis.”

O’Dell started playing baseball at age 7, competing with Southern Maryland Sting organization for 10 years. He started his high school days at St. Mary’s Ryken and transferred to Great Mills halfway through the first semester and played all of his varsity baseball years with the Hornets.

“The coaches really made it better and my teammates were really fun,” he said. “And although we didn’t really go far in the playoffs and everything, we had a couple of special moments in my sophomore years and junior years, and just a lot of fun.”

O’Dell was named to The Enterprise All-County team in 2019 as a first-team selection. He batted .426 with a .519 on-base percentage in a season that included 26 hits, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 21 runs scored, 13 walks and 15 stolen bases.

“Chase grew a lot both physically and mentally,” Rodgers said. “He started as the varsity shortstop as a young 14-year-old and took his lumps but still did well. He was probably only about 5-8 and 130 pounds as a freshman. He was a little nervous and quiet, but always wanted to learn and work. By his junior year he was a captain, about 6-1 and 160 to 170 pounds. His arm got stronger and he spent a lot of time on his own working on his strength, conditioning, skills and playing the game. He led by example, worked with the younger guys on their skills and even had the seniors respect enough that they looked up to him. I would have loved to watch him play through his senior year just to see the progress.”

O’Dell did not get to have a senior season like many other athletes, but the COVID-19 outbreak did not stop him from achieving his goal of playing in college and he continues to work out and hit regularly.

“I had to set my goals high and it really keeps me active, it keeps me motivated on working out,” he said.

Twitter: @PWSoMdSports

Twitter: @PWSoMdSports