Prep Baseball Report

Cullen Thrilled To Call Rhode Island College Home

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Cullen Thrilled To Call Rhode Island College Home

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Jake Cullen RHP / OF / Westford Academy, MA / 2024

WESTFORD, Ma. - When Jake Cullen went to visit the University of Rhode Island he had no presumptions about what was coming.

“I didn’t have expectations,” the Westford Academy junior reflected about a trip to Kingston, just one hour away from his home in Westford. “I was just feeling around trying to figure out what I wanted to do. But then I got on campus and … holy crap. It’s right by a beach. There’s no better time to go there than in the summer.”

When all was said and done, the Atlantic 10 Conference school proved to be the right fit for Cullen.

“As soon as I went there I knew it was where I wanted to go,” related Cullen, who picked up interest from URI while playing for NEB. “They were at a game I pitched at and after that they reached out and wanted me to come on a tour.”

A winter camp followed the initial visit and the eighth-ranked 2024 right-handed pitcher in New England had a decision to make soon after.

“I really liked Northeastern,” Cullen noted. “Their coach showed me such love and appreciation.”

But strong interest from Rhode Island was also there.

“They offered me a week after camp,” Cullen said of URI. “It took me a few days to figure out if I wanted to do it, but I just knew it would happen. I really love the campus and the coaches’ love for the game. I know that they could figure out a good plan for me.”

URI saw a lot of promise in the 25th-ranked junior in New England.

“They like that my cutter was really good,” Cullen explained. “It had a ton of movement. I threw it in the bullpen and they loved it. It was just a really good experience at camp.”

It wasn’t that long ago that Cullen first began considering college baseball in his future.

“Sophomore year is when I started thinking about it,” Cullen pointed out. “Then sophomore summer with NEB I knew it. It became realistic that summer when I started getting calls and having people reach out.”

The Future Games benefitted the cause in a big way for the third-rated 2024 RHP in Massachusetts.

“The PBR Future Games really really gave me a lot of help,” noted Cullen, who received interest from UMass Lowell among others at the event. “I pitched versus Florida and that’s when I figured out I could compete at the college level.”

Improvement was part of making it a reality.

“With all my work ethic, lifting all the time and getting my work in four days a week, I improved at everything,,” Cullen explained. “My velocity and my athleticism in general really got better.

“I work out at the Barn in Harvard and that changed everything. Scott Patterson and Mike Abraham really care about me and I built a good relationship with them. They’ve done everything for me with the college process.”

A commitment by the 6-3 180-pounder, admittedly, brought a lot of joy.

“My family was very excited for me,” Cullen said. “They knew I’d love Rhode Island and it’s just a huge stress relief for me.”

Criminal justice and athletic training are majors being considered by the 17-year-old, a 3.4 student at Westford Academy who is confident about what he can help bring to URI.

“Definitely my energy,” Cullen said of what he can provide the Atlantic 10 program. “I love to compete and hopefully I can help bring them a title.”

There is more that Cullen is looking forward to when it comes to college baseball and his future.

“I want to be the best I possibly can be,” Cullen concluded. “Hopefully, I can make it big and go as far as possible.”

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