The Bethune-Cookman baseball website lists rising sophomore Michael Austin as an outfielder/right-handed pitcher. Given his performance on the mound this summer for the Ripken League’s Presstman Cardinals, that position listing might get reversed next season.
Bethune-Cookman Wildcat and Presstman Cardinal Michael Austin (photo / bcuathletics.com)
The Sykesville, Maryland native notched three saves and struck out 30 for the Wildcats this spring as a freshman. Of Austin’s 20 appearances, 17 were from the bullpen as he helped Bethune-Cookman advance to the MEAC finals.
For Reggie Smith’s Presstman club, Austin has moved into a starter’s role and made the transition look easy. Austin has struck out 28 batters, second only in the Ripken League to teammate Jake Enterlin’s 29. Overall he’s 2-2 and has worked 24.2 innings. Four of his five appearances have been as a starter and Austin is holding opponents to a 1.82 era.
The 6’3″ righty’s best effort to date was a seven inning, 4-2 win over the Gaithersburg Giants on June 23. In that game he allowed just three hits, while holding Gaithersburg scoreless and striking out eight.
“Michael is doing a tremendous job for us. Due to the numbers he’s put up the first half of the season, I’m convinced pitching is his future,” said Smith.
The Cardinals (8-14) next play Friday on the road against Vienna (9-10). Game time is scheduled for 7 PM.