CNE grad Cockerham sets Miami baseball records

Clermont Northeastern High School graduates Jake Cockerham and Geoff Carter have made a huge impact on the success of the Miami University-Hamilton baseball team.

Cockerham completed his sophomore season for the MU-Hamilton Harriers with an exceptional season. The 6-foot, 185-pound son of Ron and Pamela Cockerham of Williams Corner hit .399. He amassed 71 hits, and scored 54 runs, each a school record, for a team that compiled a very respectable 32-19 record.

The 20-year old Cockerham’s statistics come through hard work and good genetics. He and his older brother Jeremy were both Southern Buckeye Conference all-stars on the diamond and younger brothers Josh (13) and Joe (11) appear to have bright baseball futures, too. Their cousin Paul Dunaway holds a national record, a state record, and a couple of Clermont County and Goshen High School records in wrestling.

The first team Ohio Regional Campus Conference (ORCC) all-star’s non-record establishing, but impressive statistics, also included 14 doubles, four triples, three home runs, and 35 runs batted in that were all second-high on the team for the year. His overall performance, offensively and defensively, earned Cockerham, an English Education major, the team awards of most valuable player and best offensive player.

He turned in exceptional performances in many games, but four battles stand out. Against Columbus State, he had three hits in five trips to the plate that included a home run, a double, two singles, and two runs batted in. Opposite Ohio University-Lancaster in a doubleheader, he was six for eight with two roundtrippers, two twin sackers, and six runs batted in. This game won the ORCC title for Miami-Hamilton. Versus Southern State, he was five for five. The MU-Middletown game stands out because this was the outing in which Cockerham had his school record-setting 71st base rap of the season.

“I broke the two big records I wanted to break and I helped the team keep its record going of seven conference championships in a row,” said Cockerham who has been invited to a walk-on trial for the Miami University Redhawk varsity squad. He has also received telephone calls from other colleges located in the eastern and southern sections of the United States.

“I’ll work out in the fall to make the team in the spring. My goal is to play on the main campus team and to be able to contribute right away. I only have two years left so I think they’ll want me to be able to contribute right away.”

Jake was seen on the Clermont County Fairgrounds wearing a baseball cap and T-shirt and the rumors that he was going professional were circulating among CNE baseball graduates and fans on the Owensville fairgrounds. This writer was even approached about the positive rumors and I notified Cockerham about the flattering speculations.

“I hope it happens,” laughed Cockerham who began playing baseball at the age of four for a CNE Knothole team coached by Nick Whitecotton. “Whatever happens, happens. It’s a long way yet, but my entire life I’ve wanted to be good at baseball and better than everybody else.”

“Jake was the hardest worker I’ve ever had here and one of our best players and we’ve had a lot of good players go through here,” said MU-Hamilton head diamond coach Darrell Grissom. “Jake has a real good future in baseball.”

Geoff Carter has immediately established himself in his collegiate baseball career as a player to watch in the very near future.

As a freshman, Carter, who played left field and right field, led the Harriers this campaign with his on base percentage of .403. His hitting average was a respectable .278.

During his prep career, the son of Tim and Lynne Carter was a four-year varsity letterman on the Rockets’ diamond and earned All-Southern Buckeye American Division (twice) and all-city status. He concluded his stellar CNE career with a .521 hitting average. He was also a letterman in football.

His good athletic abilities were inherited. His dad was a Clermont County League all-star in football and wrestling as was his uncle Terry during their days at CNE.

His first season at MU-Hamilton included several good games, but a doubleheader versus Ohio University-Zanesville stands out. He went five for seven at the plate with three of those hits being doubles.

This summer he is playing for the Cincinnati Sharks of the Collegiate Wooden Bat League that includes the best players in Greater Cincinnati.

Already the 5-foot, 8-inch, 170-pounder is looking forward to next year.

“I can’t wait until the season starts. I’m looking forward to next year so I can prove I can play good baseball. I plan on being a leader now that I’m a sophomore. I want to step up and become one of the leaders.”

“I’m looking forward to Geoff playing next year. He’s going to be a very valuable player and a good outfielder for us,” said Grissom. “He had a real good freshman year.”