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Cooper Signs With Blue Raiders

June 27, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee head baseball coach Steve Peterson has announced the signing of infielder Chad Cooper for the 2002 season.

Cooper, a 6-1, 180 lb., middle infielder hails from Picture Rock, Penn., and comes to the Blue Raider program from Garrett Community College in McHenry, Md.

Cooper was named First Team All-Maryland Junior College Conference for his work as a shortstop for two seasons. During his two-year stint at Garrett, he batted .372 while driving in 100 runs. He stole an average of 22 bases each season while collecting 38 doubles, 13 triples, and nine homers.

Cooper's junior college coach, Ed Wildesen, had nothing but praise for his student.

"It was with great pleasure and pride that I coached Chad for two years. All athletic ability aside, the two things I will miss most are Chad's work ethic and his passion for the game," stated Wildesen.

Cooper played high school baseball for coach Jon Fritz at Hughesville High School where he earned varsity letters in each of his four seasons. An excellent athlete, he also earned two letters in basketball as the point guard for the Hughesville cagers.

Peterson said, "We were able to see him play and he came very highly recommended from professional scouts and junior college coaches. He gives us an experienced middle infielder that can play both second and shortstop. He has shown that he has the potential to swing the bat, play defense, and run. He should make a fine addition to our team."

Cooper helps the Blue Raiders get closer to completing an infield that lost three starters from a year ago. Third baseman Brandon Johnson, second baseman Josh Renick, and first baseman Kris Lammers all completed their collegiate eligibility last season. Shortstop Jason Howarth is the lone returning member of the Blue Raider infield.

The Blue Raiders have a few other holes to fill after losing several players from last season's 41-17 club. 2001 marked the team's first season in the Sun Belt conference and it responded by taking a share of the regular-season championship and earning the school's first-ever at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Five Blue Raiders were selected in the Major League Baseball draft in early June, marking the most ever for a single year. RHP Dewon Brazelton made history by becoming the highest draft pick in MT history when he was taken third overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

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