Bodner, a pitcher-infielder with a 3.7 grade-point average, picked Xavier over Western Kentucky, saying he made his decision after a trip to Bowling Green last weekend, where he played in a fall tournament and visited WKU.
He said he made up his mind “after talking with Western and seeing what they had to offer.” He said Xavier’s offer of 70 percent of a full athletic scholarship plus some academic money was the better proposal, and he already liked the school.
“It was an easy decision,” he said.
Bodner made that decision without taking an official visit to Xavier. He plans to do that Saturday, when he’ll spend the night with one of the players and get an up-close look at the program and the school.
But he already knows his way around the Cincinnati campus. His older sister, Samantha, is a Xavier cheerleader, so he has been there for basketball games and other visits. He made an unofficial visit earlier this summer, and he has even played on the Musketeers’ field.
“We actually had a tournament there this summer, and I played really good in it,” he said.
Bodner’s stock rose sharply after an impressive junior season at Boyle and a strong summer season with the Morse Mustangs.
This spring he went 9-2 on the mound with a 2.18 earned-run average and 90 strikeouts in 76 innings, and he hit .350 with a .513 on-base percentage, two home runs, 20 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
During the summer, he was invited to a prestigious showcase run by major-league scouts in Florida, although he was unable to attend because he had already committed to play in an all-star tournament in Illinois.
Bodner said Xavier is interested in using him in a dual role.
“They thought they could use me in the middle infield and as a pitcher and anywhere else they needed me on the field,” he said. “That was my main point in (picking a) college, playing dual positions. I wanted to hit and pitch.”
He said he feels he needs to work on his hitting and to improve his strength, but he said he is progressing toward where he wants to be by the time his freshman year begins.
“I feel like I’m close,” he said.
He plans to sign later this year and will join a program that went 26-32 lassssst season and was 18-9 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, where the Musketeers won their last eight games to finish second. They had the best season in school history in 2009, winning a school-record 39 games and the A-10 tournament title.
“They’re usually in the top two in their conference, and every year they have a chance to go to a (NCAA) regional,” Bodner said.
Bodner said he’s glad to have his college decision behind him so early in his senior year, especially because he is less than three weeks away from the start of basketball practice.
“I feel like I’ve had a weight lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “I can clear my mind for the rest of fall baseball and move on to basketball, and I don’t have to worry about anything in the winter.”