Senior Justin Quintana Earns Baseball Scholarship to St. Thomas University

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ILS senior Justin Quintana earned an athletic scholarship to play baseball at St. Thomas University.

Staff

ILS senior Justin Quintana has earned an athletic scholarship to play baseball at St. Thomas University. Quintana has been one of the most productive Royal Lions baseball players over the last three seasons, and his hard work and dedication has given him the opportunity to continue his playing career at the next level.

Justin is a great young player and even greater young man,” said ILS baseball coach Nathan Gomez. “Justin is one of our two senior captains and though his personality and demeanor are more soft spoken and laid back, he is one who leads through action and results.”

The ILS baseball program helped me to succeed by helping me become a better, stronger, and more responsible person on and off the field.”

— Justin Quintana

Quintana has been part of the ILS varsity baseball team for three seasons. He played in the outfield and was a pitcher for the Royal Lions. His versatility afforded Coach Gomez flexibility in crafting lineups and making in-game changes.

“He has led the team in hitting since the beginning of his junior year and was on a tear before the season was postponed,” Coach Gomez said.

Quintana hit .316 with six RBI, five walks, a double and a triple in 19 ABs before the season was postponed due to the coronavirus. As a junior in 2019, Quintana hit .482 with a .574 on-base and .661 slugging percentage. He registered 22 RBI, four doubles and two home runs. For his ILS career, Quintana posted a .358 batting average with 38 RBI, seven doubles and two home runs.

Quintana was also a reliable arm in the pitching rotation. In 2020, he started two games and finished with a 1-0 record, 10 strikeouts and 1.56 ERA over 9.0 innings pitched. As a junior, Quintana registered three saves and three wins, with 19 strikeouts over 23.1 innings pitched.

“The ILS baseball program helped me to succeed by helping me become a better, stronger, and more responsible person on and off the field,” Quintana said.

“The baseball program made an impact on me as soon as I transferred in sophomore year. I felt I was part of the team from day one. I owe this to my coaches and teammates. Also, I feel the school has prepared me academically for my college career and for my future goals.”

ILS senior Justin Quintana will swap his Royal Lions uniform for a Bobcats uniform in 2020.

He’s excited about the opportunity to play at St. Thomas University, where the ILS baseball played several home games over the last few seasons.

“To get this opportunity to play college baseball is what I have been working for all my life,” Quintana explained. “It’s a dream come true to be able to continue doing what I love. Knowing my hard work is paying off is very exciting.”

The baseball program at ILS is a particularly close-knit group. Players remain friends off the field and even the club’s coaching staff is made up of ILS alumni, including head coach Nathan Gomez and assistant coach Nick Schile.

“I would like to thank my teammates for their friendship on and off the field and for being there for me through everything,” Quintana said. “I love them like brothers and I would do anything for them. I would like to thank my coaches for teaching me to be a better person and a better player. I would like to thank my family for instilling my faith in God in me and everyone who has had a part in helping me become the person I am today.”

Losing Quintana, and other seniors like Damian Carames and Zachary Barrios, will be a blow to the ILS baseball program, but Coach Gomez is happy for Quintana’s next step.

“He is kind hearted and always means well,” Gomez said of Quintana. “He always looks after the underclassmen and is an extension of the coaching staff. I am excited for him and his family and wish him the best at St Thomas.”

The 2019 season saw St. Thomas University reach the NAIA World Series for the seventh time in program history, advancing to the National Championship, finishing as Runner-Ups for the second time (2015). The Bobcats compiled a 49-15 record in 2019.

At St. Thomas, Quintana will join ILS alum Addiel Quintana (Class of 2019), who was on the Bobcats’ 2020 Developmental team. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) primarily competing in The Sun Conference.