When Jake Dudley decided to decommit from Harford (Md.) Community College in June, he received attention from several schools ranging from the Division I to Division III level.
Never mistaken for someone who is too excitable, the 2019 Culpeper High School graduate vowed at the time that he would be choosing his next destination carefully.
Dudley made his choice on Wednesday, announcing via Twitter that he has decided to attend Bridgewater College to further his athletic and academic careers.
“After I decommitted from Harford, I visited several schools,” Dudley said when reached by phone Wednesday evening. “I fell in love with [Bridgewater’s] campus and its coaching staff.”
Bridgewater, which competes in the Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference, recently hired a new head coach in Ben Spotts. Spotts, a Bridgewater alum and former member of the Eagles’ baseball team, takes over for veteran coach Curt Kendall, who stepped down last spring after 34 seasons at the helm.
“Coach Spotts is awesome,” Dudley said. “We hit it off right away, and I’m looking forward to playing for him.”
Bridgewater finished 15-23 last season, but had just 10 seniors on its 30-man roster. With all of the expected returnees for 2020, Dudley knows he’ll have to earn a spot on the Eagles’ roster.
“I just want to try and outwork the guys who are already in front of me,” he said. “Hopefully I can earn a spot on the team and play during my freshman year.”
As a senior at Culpeper, Dudley was a Class 3 first-team all-state selection at third base, as well garnering Region 3B and Class 3 Northwestern District player of the year honors. He batted .431 with a 1.344 OPS, seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and 17 RBI on the way to leading the Blue Devils to an upset of defending Class 3 state champion Spotsylvania and a spot in the Region 3B semifinals.
Dudley announced his intention to reopen his college recruitment in early-June, after Harford head coach Tom Eller left the program to accept a hitting instructor position in the Baltimore Orioles organization.