Anthony Wayne’s Rhodes To Play Baseball At Rio Grande

Quincy Rhodes, a 2017 Anthony Wayne graduate, stands beside mother Karen Gerhardinger and AW coach Mark Nell after announcing his decision to play baseball at the University of Rio Grande. PHOTO COURTESY OF LIZ DEACON

BY JOEL SENSING | MIRROR SPORTS — Recent Anthony Wayne graduate Quincy Rhodes has signed to play baseball at the University of Rio Grande. The right-handed pitcher (5-0, 0.643 ERA, 32 strikeouts in 32.2 innings) was a reliable arm in the Generals’ arsenal on the mound this season, answering the call as the team’s third or fourth pitcher, particularly late in the spring. His best game may have been on May 11 at Central Catholic, when he threw a two-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over the Irish. Rhodes needed just 69 pitches for the complete-game win, 52 (75 percent) of them going for strikes. He struck out six in the efficient outing. The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College form a combined community college and private university in Rio Grande, located in southern Ohio. The Red Storm’s baseball coach is Brad Warnimont, originally from Napoleon. Rhodes, a Penta student who is still undecided on a major in college, wanted to go somewhere he could quickly make an impact on the field. “It’s a smaller school and I really wanted to go to a community college just because it’s hard when you go to a D-I school and you don’t get as much playing time,” he said. Rhodes’ role was limited at the varsity level at AW due to some top-notch pitchers on the mound in his junior and senior seasons: namely, classmate Alex Vogel and 2016 graduate Michael Conklin. Still, Rhodes showed flashes of what he could do in his junior campaign on the JV squad, at one point throwing 30-plus innings without allowing an earned run. Rhodes gave thanks to his mentors, including AW coach Mark Nell, pitching coach Steve Curry and Kevin Freeman, who coached and worked with Rhodes for years, for molding him into a pitcher who could compete for a spot at the college level. “Coach Nell was a big help,” Rhodes said. “He set me with the strong mentality that I needed for college. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have the mindset I do. He was hard, but he helped me get ready for college because his teaching and coaching mentality is based off college. “When it came to pitching this year, I think one of the biggest things was being able to hit my spots with my fastball and being able to throw my off-speed pitches for strikes. This year, I really got it down and worked on it.” Freeman worked with Rhodes in his earliest years in the sport, playing T-ball, AWABSA and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Baseball. “Steve Curry helped me a lot in the past couple of years, mainly this year,” Rhodes said. “He helped me get my college videos ready and he helped me with my off-speed pitches a lot.” Nell said one of Rhodes’ best attributes is that he attacks the strike zone. “His strike ratio was higher than anybody else in the program,” Nell said, explaining the ratio was in the neighborhood of 70 percent. “That’s phenomenal. That’s hard to do. His command of all pitches was just ridiculously good.” Rhodes’ ability to throw a mixture of off-speed pitches and fastballs kept opposing batters guessing, Nell noted. “His off-speed stuff made his fastball look even better than it was,” he said. Nell said that due to the other pitchers on the staff, Rhodes wasn’t able to make the impression he may have been capable of making. “He’s one of those guys that you just wish you had another year out of him,” he said. Nell said he believes Rhodes, who also plays on the Whitehouse American Legion squad, will be able to find success at the collegiate level if he keeps working at his craft. “He’s come a long way, because when he first started with us, he was just a thrower,” he said. “If he keeps that mentality, he’s definitely going to be able to help them out.”

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