KCC's Gadau driving them in during stellar season
The position of catcher in baseball, with its all-game squatting, equipment to be worn and hard pitches that must be stopped with one hand, is tough.
Kankakee Community College (KCC) sophomore catcher Chase Gadau will be the first to admit that. Of course, that level of difficulty also happens to be an attraction to him.
“It's great because it challenges you, and I would say you always have action the whole game," he told the Kankakee Times. "There's never a dull moment."
Gadau certainly keeps the game uncomfortably lively for the Cavaliers' opponents, as his name can be found throughout the statistical leaders in National Junior College Athletic Association Division II. Going into the action on April 22, Gadau was 11th nationally, with 50 RBIs and was 13th in walks with 32.
Some of his other standout stats include .410 in batting average, .519 in on-base percentage and .667 in slugging percentage, all of which rank in the top 69 nationally.
“I put in a lot of work here and really figured some things out in my swing, and I've felt a lot more comfortable at the plate,” he said.
Gadau also gets the job done defensively. He had thrown out 7 of 21 potential basestealers.
“And then, of course, if you can have a guy who also is force offensively in the middle of your lineup, it is win win for a coach to have a player like Chase,” KCC Head Coach Todd Post told the Kankakee Times.
Gadau started playing catcher at about age 7 while participating in travel baseball. Over the years, as he continued to play the game, he also spent some time in the outfield, but most of his playing days have been spent crouched behind home plate.
Through his time playing at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in St. Joseph, Illinois, where he earned first-team All-Sangamon Valley Conference honors, Gadau got to work with multiple pitchers who went on to sign with National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I programs.
At KCC, he has another great staff to work with, as the Cavaliers had a team earned-run average of 3.20 and batting average against of .247, both of which ranked 12th nationally. The Cavaliers also had 10 shutouts, which ranked No. 2.
Being able to handle the pitchers on a staff, getting a hurler to calm down at the right times, for instance, brings out leadership qualities in a catcher, which Gadau also likes. Being aware of the entire field is another appealing aspect, he said.
“It also makes you a smarter player because you have to know what's going on at all times,” Gadau said.
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