Athlete of the Week: Nick Thornquist

Julia Maenius, Assistant Sports Editor

Since his transfer from McLennan Community College in 2018, senior catcher Nick Thornquist is currently the most experienced backstop to the Roadrunner mound. He has started in 51 of the 59 games he has played in, and he has compiled 60 hits, seven home runs and 43 runners batted in. Thornquist has a batting average of .305, acquired over his two-year tenure.

Thornquist is a mechanical engineering major and will make his final appearance on the field in May while needing an additional semester at UTSA before he graduates in December.

“After graduation, if I don’t get drafted, then I will probably work with my cousin at a company called Burns & McDonnell either in Dallas or Kansas City,” Thornquist said.

Thornquist began his long baseball career when he was five years old. While playing club and high school baseball, Thornquist played community college baseball for two years before transferring to the Roadrunners.

“I started with tee ball and then moved to Kansas City,” Thornquist said. “I really started playing select baseball up there for a team called Mac N Seitz. I then made my way down to Dallas and played up until now.”

Thornquist was also on the swim team until middle school and played football and basketball. Though he was a multi-sport athlete, Thornquist’s true passion was baseball.

“I know my family wanted me to keep swimming, but baseball has always been my passion,” Thornquist said. “I’ve always loved it.”

Thornquist gives credit to his coaches at McLennan for his opportunity to become a ‘Runner because of their relationships with former UTSA head coach Jason Marshall and associate head coach Jim Blair.

“I knew I had a shot to play when we had Garrett Moon over here,” Thornquist said. “He is a good catcher, too, but I thought I’d get some playing time over here. I liked the coaching staff, and it’s been the biggest blessing in my lifetime.”

In his junior season, Thornquist started in 42 of 50 games, and he recorded a .568 slugging percentage. Thornquist has not regretted his decision to become a ‘Runner because he has been able to develop his skills for potential draft selection.

“I like the players, I like the coaches, and the atmosphere is always awesome in San Antonio,” Thornquist said.

Thornquist is most noticeable on the team for his white socks. As his pregame ritual, he is the only player on the field who does not wear the uniform blue socks. Thornquist also calms his nerves before batting at the humor of his teammates.

“I spit on my hands before I go hit and clap them a couple of times,” Thornquist said. “I get grief for that all the time, no doubt about it.”

When he is not on the receiving end of the pitching staff, Thornquist is either working out, playing video games with his roommates or enjoying nature. He relies on his family for support on and off the field.

“My biggest inspiration would have to be both of my parents, my mom specifically,” Thornquist said. “She is an incredibly hard-working woman. She is waking up at 4 a.m. every day, and she is just grinding it out for my family. She helps me push through engineering and she taught me that if you work hard, you can succeed in life.”

After finishing his junior season with nine multi-runners batted in games, Thornquist looks to his conference performance as his career highlight moment.

“When I hit a two-run home run against Old Dominion to tie it up in the inning, that was the most monumental moment for me personally,” Thornquist said.

Making relationships he will continue to have after graduation is Thornquist’s favorite part about competing for the ‘Runners.

“They love the game, and they keep fighting for me right now even though I am not hitting great,” Thornquist said. “I know that the guys behind me and the pitcher on the mound are going to pick me up. Sometimes it is hard to compete when everybody else is competing their butts off.”

The ‘Runners are atop the ConferenceUSA (C-USA) in the standings with a two-game lead over the Old Dominion University Monarchs, 10-2.

“Everybody is doing their part, and it’s not hard to lead a group of pitchers that want to win and want to throw strikes,” Thornquist said. “I want to be a leader, but everybody is stepping up and doing their part.”

Thornquist was selected for the All-Conference USA Preseason team going into the 2020 season, his first C-USA selection.

“It was a good honor,” Thornquist said. “Every time you get to hear your name for an honor or something it is always pretty cool, but you know there is work to be done. You have a nametag on you now, and they are going to pitch you differently, and you just have to keep adjusting.”

Thornquist hopes the 2020 season will lead the ‘Runners to the C-USA Championship. He gives all of his glory to his love of the game.

“I think it has taught me a lot about time management, competition and that being better than the person next to you by driving and trying to succeed every day,” Thornquist said.