The senior season Brett Maddock wanted on the Oakdale High School baseball diamond didn’t happen … but the Mustang recently set his college plans in motion, just as his older brother Blake is continuing with his education.
For the siblings, their story is taking them to the same location in the fall, moving to Kansas to play baseball for the McPherson College Bulldogs. The four-year liberal arts college is in the NAIA for athletics and the Maddock brothers are excited and eager about the next phase in their academic and athletic careers. They recently set up a signing in their home, the only avenue available to them in these COVID-19 times, and said they hope to suit up for the Bulldogs next spring.
The two are the sons of Rick and Koleen Maddock of Oakdale and have a younger brother, Baize, 9, who is involved in OBA, following in his older brothers’ footsteps on the baseball diamond.
Blake, a 2017 OHS grad, spent the past three seasons at UC Merced and is a right-handed pitcher.
“I red shirted my first year and I went as a shortstop,” Blake explained. “I always asked (coach) if I could pitch and he thought I was kidding.”
But after getting the chance to both play the infield and do some pitching, the tide began to shift to Blake getting more time on the mound. In his third year, he focused solely on pitching.
“I felt that’s where I could be most effective,” he said.
Blake lived away from home in Merced while attending school and said that has helped prepare him for the transition to Kansas, and he believes he will also be able to help younger brother Brett adapt to the new surroundings as well.
He also thoroughly enjoyed his UC Merced experience.
“I’ve met some great guys out there,” he said.
Blake will transfer to McPherson as a junior academically but athletically will be considered a sophomore, having lost this season of collegiate play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He has earned his AA in Social Behavior and plans to major in health sciences at McPherson, with the ultimate goal of becoming a physical therapist.
And while Blake is focused on pitching, younger brother Brett played infield and took the mound for the Mustangs. The coach at McPherson took a look at his stats and that’s when the Maddock brothers became a package deal, the coach telling Blake that Brett put up some impressive stats at the high school level.
Last season, Brett notched 82 strikeouts in 82 innings of work and has not had an ERA over 2.00 throughout his high school career.
“I played all four years at OHS, two on varsity and I just enjoy playing with my teammates and having fun,” said Brett, who is still grappling with the unexpected loss of his senior baseball season and the rest of his senior year.
Still, he is keeping a positive outlook about what lies ahead.
“I think it’s pretty cool, getting to play together again with my brother,” he said, adding that they have played summer ball, when Brett played on Blake’s college team.
Originally, the plan was for Brett to attend UC Merced and the two would become teammates there. But the McPherson coach had other ideas.
“They found my brother first, at Merced,” explained Brett.
Discussions began with Blake and then Brett’s baseball accomplishments also came into play, eventually leading to both brothers signing on with the Bulldogs.
Brett said it has been tough, not being able to be on the field and in the classroom with his friends and teammates, but having college to look forward to makes it a little easier to handle.
“It feels good, like you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to do,” he said of performing well enough in high school to get the college nod.
He anticipates majoring in biology, though he hasn’t set a specific career goal as of yet.
McPherson is a small city in Kansas, about 13,000 population and the college itself is a private, liberal arts school with an enrollment of about 800 students.
“I like to travel and this will be a new area, I think it’ll be fun,” Blake said.
He also feels he and younger brother Brett will play well together at McPherson and plan to embrace the experience.
Currently, they plan to leave Oakdale at the end of July.
And if there is one word to describe the feeling for this next chapter?
“Excited,” said Blake.