LP_061319

22ndcenturymedia

LP_061319

38 | June 13, 2019 | the lockport legend sports

lockportlegend.com

LTHS grad re-writes record books at North Central

Quade sets one

single-season, five

career program

records

Max Lapthorne, Editor

The most memorable

hit of Jeremy Quade’s

baseball career probably

should not have been a hit

at all.

In his penultimate game

at North Central College

on May 19, the Lockport

native dug into the batter’s

box in the top of the seventh

inning having compiled

245 hits during his

collegiate career, tied for

the most in program history.

He got a changeup in

the zone — a pitch Quade

had done plenty of damage

with in his career — but

the pitch had its desired

effect with Quade starting

his swing a fraction of a

second too early and popping

the ball high into left

field.

But what should have

been an easy putout turned

into a record-breaking

hit as Quade’s big swing

and some swirling winds

teamed up to trick the

Webster University outfielders,

and the ball fell to

the turf in left-center field

for his 246th hit as a Cardinal.

“I was a little angry at

first because of the way

it happened, but I [remembered]

how many

times I hit a ball hard

right at somebody and it

was caught, so I was able

to take a deep breath and

enjoy the moment, realize

what just happened and

how special it is,” Quade

said.

Although the historic hit

was not a majestic home

Lockport Township graduate Jeremy Quade (left) is the all-time career leader in hits,

stolen bases, at-bats, games played and runs scored at North Central College.

Steve Woltmann/North Central College

run or frozen rope, it was

perhaps more apropos,

because despite flinging

his bat in frustration after

initially making contact,

Quade — as he always

did — hustled down the

line and ended up with a

double on the play. North

Central coach Ed Mathey’s

first reaction when the record-setting

blooper fell

to the grass was to crack a

smile, because he knew it

was probably not how his

senior center fielder imagined

that moment playing

out.

“In his mind, it’s probably

not the glorious home

run or the line drive into

right-center field, but it’s

one he’s always going to

remember [and] so will

I,” Mathey said. “... For

the most part, Jeremy approached

the game to play

hard each and every day.

That’s not an easy thing to

do at any level.”

Quade’s collegiate career

came to a close later

that day in the Whitewater

Regional Championship,

but he will not be soon

forgotten around the North

Central baseball complex

as he left as the career

leader in runs, games

played, stolen bases and

at-bats while also breaking

the single-season record

for at-bats. In addition to

his individual exploits,

Quade helped the Cardinals

to four consecutive

Collegiate Conference

of Illinois and Wisconsin

titles, was part of four

NCAA regional qualifying

teams and led his team to

a third-place finish at the

Division III College World

Series his sophomore year.

“It’s a Division III

school, but our athletic

program is outstanding,”

Quade said of North Central.

“The opportunities

at Lockport that I was

able to take advantage of,

whether that be classroom

stuff, weight room stuff,

leadership stuff, just kind

of the whole package that

Lockport offered me, and

the people that were there

prepared me to take advantage

of the opportunities at

North Central.”

One of the opportunities

Quade had at LTHS most

pivotal to his success at

North Central was playing

quarterback for the Porters

football team. His time on

the gridiron helped finetune

his leadership skills,

and the overall mentality

he had during football

games translated to the

diamond as well.

“With baseball, they say

you only play or are focused

for like 22 minutes

out of three hours,” Quade

said. “For those 22 minutes,

you have to have a

football mentality. Hustle

out of the box, fighting

for the extra 90 feet. Just

like in football, you’re always

fighting for that extra

yard.”

When recruiting Quade,

Mathey was enticed by

Quade’s work on the football

field, but not only

because it showcased his

leadership and focus.

“It shows a lot of different

things from a leadership

standpoint, from

an attention-to-detail

standpoint and [about]

his decision-making ability,”

Mathey said. “That’s

part of the game of baseball

that I don’t think gets

looked at enough, is the

ability to make good decisions

when you’re on the

field.”

One of the moments

that stands out most to

Mathey when it comes to

Quade is an at-bat that he

did not even take. Late

this past season — as

Quade was in pursuit of

the all-time hits record

— Mathey and his coaching

staff were hoping to

get an at-bat for one of

Quade’s teammates who

had battled several shoulder

injuries throughout

his career and worked to

rehab the injury despite

the odds being against

him being able to play

again.

The game was well in

hand in the eighth inning,

and the coaching staff

was planning to give him

the at-bat in the designated

hitter spot, but given

where the Cardinals were

in the order, there was no

guarantee that spot would

come up before the game

ended. Quade overheard

this conversation between

Mathey and his coaching

staff as he headed to the

on-deck circle and immediately

offered to give up

his at-bat.

“Here is a guy who has

been in the lineup a lot,

and I know he’s aware of

the hit record and everything

else and he’s willing

to do that for a teammate,”

Mathey said.

Quade recently finished

up his degree in

sports management and

communication and accepted

a business education

teaching position at

a high school in Indiana

where his first base coach

at North Central College

was recently named athletic

director. Quade plans

to coach baseball and

football and may do some

strength and conditioning

work as well.

“I’m really excited about

this opportunity that I have

with that teaching position

and the coaching,”

he said. “I never thought

about teaching until this

year, but I think it’s a good

fit for me and I think it still

allows me to work toward

my career goals.”

Quade credits his family

and those involved in

the baseball programs at

LTHS and North Central

for getting him to where he

is today. Going forward, he

plans to continue playing

baseball with a semi-pro

collegiate summer league

team called the Lombard

Orioles, and would be

open to playing professionally,

but if that opportunity

does not come, he

is satisfied with how his

baseball career has played

out — especially now that

he has two more hits than

anyone else to ever put on

a Cardinals uniform.

“As I started to realize

I was getting close, it was

one thing that I personally

was wanting to achieve

that kind of put the icing

on the cake for my senior

year having it be a good

year overall, that was the

last record I was really

chasing,” Quade said.

More magazines by this user