Oct. 17, 2013
By KAILEY ADAMS
OhioBobcats.com - Staff Writer
ATHENS, Ohio - It was the spring of 2011 and future bobcat Jake Madsen was in the midst of a phenomenal high school senior season. He led the Moeller Crusaders - the 28th best high school baseball program in the country - to Cincinnati's Greater Catholic League championship title and was named the GCL Player of the Year and First Team-All State.
Yet two weeks before his freshman year of college, Madsen had no idea where he would be attending school. No offers, no scholarships... nothing.
"A lot of schools told me `you don't really fit with our program,' or `you're not good enough for us'," Madsen said. "That was really hard."
As time was running out, he decided to reach out to Ohio University for one last chance. Little did he know, he would soon become the team's biggest offensive threat.
"Baseball is just like life," Madsen said. "You're not always going to get what you want out of it. You're going to have a lot of disappointments - and I have gone through a lot of disappointments to get here. But it's made me who I am now.
Now, Madsen has established himself as one of the Bobcats' most dominant players. Not bad for a guy who didn't know where he would be attending school just weeks before fall practice began.
As a freshman in 2012, Madsen burst on the scene, leading the Bobcats in batting average (.344), while driving in 32 runs. He also posted a team-best 21-game hitting streak en route to the Bobcats' second-place finish in the Mid-American Conference East Division, finishing second to Kent State, which went on to the 2012 College World Series.
In 2013, Madsen had no sophomore slump as he batted over .300 and led the team in 11 offensive categories.
Since coming to Athens, Madsen joined the Bobcats as an infielder and has since started all but three games at first base. Madsen's presence on the team goes well beyond the numbers. His attitude and dedication make him one of Ohio's most prominent leaders.
"Jake's a tremendous player for us," said head coach Rob Smith. "He brings a lot of value to this team. He is certainly a very good player and a lot of our guys look to him in terms of how he goes about his business."
The road to success has been anything but easy for the Cincinnati native, but through hard work and perseverance, Madsen has earned himself a spot in the Bobcats' lineup.
"It's surprising," Madsen said of his achievements for the Bobcats. "I was always told that I'm just an average player, and to have all the success that I've had feels good - especially when we go play teams that told me I wasn't good enough.
As a third generation player, including a grandfather who played in the minor leagues, Madsen says the sport has always been a part of his life.
"For as long as I can remember, I've been a baseball player," Madsen said.
He hopes to continue his baseball career long after his time with Ohio is finished, aspiring to eventually make his way through the minors and land a spot in the major leagues. But for now, Madsen has other things on his mind.
"I just want to win the MAC championship this year," Madsen said. "I see the talent on this team, and I definitely think we have the ability to win."