There was no shortage of hype surrounding Cade Feeney’s commitment to
North Dakota State.
Feeney walked on campus as perhaps one of the most anticipated recruits in NDSU Baseball’s history.
In high school, Feeney led the Bismarck Century Patriots to back-to-back state championships in baseball, posting an otherworldly ERA of 0.80 in his senior season. If that’s not impressive enough, he also was the starting quarterback of the football team and scored over 1,000 points in his basketball career.
That alone would be enough to make Feeney a heralded recruit. However, his family’s impressive list of athletic accomplishments only added to the pressure
His father, Steve, played football for the University of North Dakota. His cousin Trey is currently a quarterback for the Fighting Hawks. Kevin, Cade’s uncle and Trey’s father, is still regarded as one of NDSU’s best quarterbacks of all time. His brother, Dalton, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers after high school, and now has just finished a strong career pitching for North Carolina State.
Oh yeah, and before pitching a game last year, he was named the Summit League’s Preseason Freshman of the Year. Expectations couldn’t have been higher.
And he did not disappoint.
As a true freshman, Feeney led NDSU’s starting rotation in wins while eating up the second-most innings on the team and posting the team’s second-best ERA among players with over 30 innings pitched. There’s no question that the Bison’s magical 42-19 2021 season that ended in an NCAA Division I Regional appearance wouldn’t have been possible without Feeney’s right arm.
We caught up with the phenomenal young pitcher to learn more about his first-year experience and what’s to come in year two.
What’s your go-to pitch?
I would say my four-seam fastball is probably my go-to pitch. It has got a little bit of ride to it. The coaches here are really helping me develop my slider and change up as well.
Did you expect to make the impact you did last year?
Going into last year, I was hoping to just get on the field and help the team win in any little way I could. I didn’t think that I would take on the role that I eventually did. However, going through Fall and Winter, the older players and the coaches really started helping me along and showed me I could play an important role with the team
What are you most excited about in year two?
I’m really just excited to get the squad back out there and see what we can do. It has been a very competitive fall with the new guys coming in and all of the transfers
How did you work to make sure this is a welcoming environment for all of the transfers?
We tried to be really good showing them around and talking to them a lot during that first week of them being on campus. After that, we really just try to make sure they’re coming along with us when we’re doing stuff on the weekends; whether that’s going to soccer games or volleyball games or whatever. We try to do everything together
You guys lost a lot of key people from last year’s team. Do you see yourself stepping into a leadership role?
Personally not really, at least vocally. I’m not a real vocal guy. I try to go out on the field and lead by example. Charlie Hessy is a guy that does a great job leading vocally.
How do you stay relaxed when you’re competing? It seems like that is very important for pitchers.
I just try to stay within myself and take things one batter and one pitch at a time. You can be down in a count, but it only takes one pitch to change the whole at-bat.
No game day rituals?
I have a certain playlist that I listen to every game. As game time gets closer, I’ll go to the pen to just be alone and stretch. That helps me sort of get into that calm mindstate.
What’s on that playlist?
Some old Eminem, some old Drake and some old songs I have superstitions about.