Kyle Maves: One of one

Canada native brings dynamic skill set, background to the diamond

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

America’s pastime. It’s an odd moniker for a global sport. But when you take a look at Quinnipiac’s baseball roster, 97% of the players were born and raised in the U.S. Every player, except for one — Kyle Maves.

The senior second baseman from Burlington, Ontario, came to Quinnipiac in 2019 and immediately made an impact. His first year was a good start for someone who traveled just under 500 miles to get to Hamden, and he improved as his time at Quinnipiac progressed.

What makes his collegiate career even crazier is that he is playing on a schedule unlike anything he is used to.

In Canada, there are only a few high school baseball programs. Instead players compete on travel or club teams. Maves and his travel team played all four seasons, in contrast to the U. S., where games are more commonly played only half the year.

 “It’s definitely different,” Maves said. “But there is some good talent there. Getting used to that schedule is the biggest thing.”

Maves doesn’t just excel on the field. He is currently enrolled in the business 3+1 dual-degree program, something that helped make Quinnipiac an easy decision.

“It was the combination of (a) good academic program … and I felt like the baseball team has a really good culture,” Maves said. “To have those coaches that have that professional experience, that’s kind of rare for college.”

Maves was awarded the MAAC Rookie of the Week in April 2019, has been named to the MAAC All-Academic Team in back-to-back seasons (2020-2021) and after his freshman year, was selected to compete for the Bristol Blues of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, now known as the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

The senior campaign for Maves is off to a scorching start, batting just under .300 with 32 hits and 16 RBIs. Typically the Bobcats’ No. 2 hitter in the order, he has an uncanny ability to get on base and score. His 27 runs leads the team and with 28 games played he is just under a run scored per game, a ridiculous accomplishment. His on-base percentage is just above .400, good for 23rd in the MAAC.

Daniel Passapera

Quinnipiac head coach John Delaney is a big fan of Maves and gushed about his starting infielder. As a man of few words, compliments from Delaney are not often to come by, which makes his praise for Maves more significant.

“He’s a competitor. He wants to win,” Delaney said. “He competes and brings it to the field every day and that’s kind of his work ethic.”

Not to be outdone, Maves also has a lot of respect for his coach, who he said has helped him grow into a better baseball player and person.

“Through commitment, discipline, being on time,” Maves said. “It is real important for us to build team chemistry and a team culture.”

Maves is not just the team’s everyday second baseman.

On April 12, Maves filled in at catcher, a position he had yet to play in 2022 after an injury sidelined sophomore starter Keegan O’Connor. The move exemplified his versatility, and he was able to shine behind the plate. Maves is the Bobcats’ bullpen catcher during offseason workouts — a testament to how the team trusts him at multiple defensive spots.

“That was an interesting experience,” Maves said. “I caught in the winter … It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.”

Switching from second baseman to catcher is not the only example of the adaptability that Maves has shown in his athletic career. In high school alone, he played baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey and basketball. While it may seem like too much for someone else, Maves loved his time as a five-sport athlete.

“I just wanted to try everything out,” Maves said. “I think trying new sports make you more versatile when you come to the baseball field.”

His collegiate career is one for the record books. As of publication, with 22 games left in 2022, Maves has 12 steals on the year, tied for ninth in single-season program history. His 36 career stolen bases ranks him at No. 6 all time in Bobcats history. His ability to swipe extra bases and add another threat to this team’s offensive attack will be surely missed when he graduates.

Although the season has not started the way both Maves and Delaney had hoped record-wise, both of them know they have the ability to turn it around. No matter where Maves’ career takes him, one thing is for certain. He’s going to do whatever it takes to get the job done — even if it involves playing five sports at once.