Baseball: Cooney commits to Rockford University
Rochelle senior intending to study criminal justice
ROCHELLE — Rochelle senior Bradley Cooney will be staying close to home as he continues his academics and his baseball career with Rockford University next year. Cooney said he intends to study criminal justice in order to eventually pursue a career in law enforcement.
“I really like the guys there and I think they have a really good program,” Cooney said. “I’m excited to be a part of their program. I’m excited to continue playing baseball and do what I love to do. I’m hoping to be a part of their varsity team next year and earn my role as a pitcher.”
Cooney has spent four years with the Rochelle Hub baseball program, with two years coming on the varsity team. The senior right-hander leads Rochelle in multiple pitching categories including innings (44.1), strikeouts (35) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.94). Cooney has been an everyday starter at first base and pitcher for the Hubs, who are currently 9-16 on the season.
“Playing baseball at Rochelle has mentally and physically prepared me for taking the next step in my career,” Cooney said. “I’ve definitely improved on the mound. My velocity has increased and I’ve developed my offspeed pitches. I didn’t have any control over those pitches when I was a freshman, but now in my senior year, I think that’s the biggest reason for my progression. I’m hoping to bring a lot of energy to the team next year and I’m hoping I can be a solid player.”
Cooney has played in 25 games for the Hubs this season, recording 18 hits including 16 singles, one double and one home run while adding 14 RBIs and nine runs scored. A two-sport athlete at Rochelle Township High School, Cooney also spent four years with the football team, with three years coming on the varsity level. Highlights from Cooney’s senior baseball season this spring include a no-hitter during Rochelle’s home win over Rockford Auburn in late March.
“I appreciate everything Brad has done for the RTHS baseball program.” head coach Jarrod Reynolds said. “Brad has pitched well for us this year and he’s done a great job of giving us a chance to win with each start. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for him at Rockford University and I wish him continued success.”