Matt McQuain and Keegan Naugle certainly aren’t very imposing figures when they step on to the baseball field. Both are only about 5-foot-8. Their size, however, has never held them back. McQuain and Naugle have played key roles in Madison Central’s success the past few seasons. They helped the Indians win an 11th Region Tournament title this year.
Next year, the recent Madison Central graduates will get the chance to play at the next level. Both recently signed national letters of intent. McQuain will play at Union College, while Naugle is headed to Georgetown College. “It’s really the same story with this entire group of seniors,” Madison Central coach Steve Roof said. “They work really hard in the offseason and in the weight room. They push each other. It’s something really special. They are really selfless.”
Six members of Central’s 2018 senior class have signed national letters of intent — Casey Bargo (Lincoln Trail), Trey Eden (Georgetown), Jacob Ferris (EKU) and Logan Thomason (EKU). Naugle was a key member of the Indian pitching staff for three seasons. He had a career record of 8-8 with an ERA of just more than 2.00. “He has three good pitches,” Roof said of Naugle. “He’s been in some big games for us. He’s a competitor and he’s one of our leaders.” The right-hander was a versatile, dependable and consistent asset for the Indians. He started three games and also saw plenty of action out of the bullpen, including two saves last season. “Most of the action has been in relief, sometimes closing. It’s nice to be trusted to handle all three of those roles,” Naugle said. Naugle also had offers from Berea College, Lindsey Wilson and Union College. “It’s close to home and I get a chance to play with one of my best friends,” Naugle said of Eden. “I just really like what they have to offer.” In the future, Naugle might just end up back in Richmond at his alma mater. “I think he wants to be a coach and a teacher,” Roof said of Naugle. “I always joke with him that one day he will come back and coach at Madison Central.”
McQuain earned a unique nickname from his Central teammates at his very first practice. The catcher showed up with DeMarini Corndog Bat. “They just called me Corndog from then on,” McQuain said. McQuain split time behind the plate this past season with junior Ben Snapp. He also saw plenty of action as a designated hitter and as a pinch hitter. The senior hit .386 with 11 RBI. He was also a very steady presence behind the plate. “From the first day I stepped onto the field, I wanted to be a catcher,” McQuain said. “It’s the hardest position, but it’s the most rewarding.”
The catcher was getting much attention from college coaches until he was contacted by Union College. “They got a hold of me in the fall and asked me to come down for a visit,” McQuain said. “I went in November. It’s just the right place for me. I really liked it there. I really love the program.” At Union, McQuain will be reunited with former teammate McKinley Sewell, a 2017 Central graduate. “He can hit. He has some tools,” Roof said of McQuain. “In college, he will get a chance to improve. He’s earned it.” McQuain had one of the biggest hits of the season for Central. The senior ripping a pinch-hit grand slam that carried the Indians to a win on the road over Woodford County last month. “That was awesome,” McQuain said. Nathan Hutchinson, 6/22/2018