Baseball: Austin's journey still going after college career ends
By Staff Report
Jun 20, 2017 | 7:45 PM
Michael Austin's college baseball career ended after the former Century High School standout helped UMBC play in the NCAA Regionals in early June.
Austin's baseball journey isn't over just yet, however — the Eldersburg native signed a pro contract on Tuesday with the Kansas City Royals.
Austin became the 18th player in Retrievers history to compete professionally, and he's the second UMBC player in as many years to ink a pro contract.
Austin helped the Retrievers capture their first America East Championship in program history this spring. UMBC finished 23-25 after falling to Wake Forest and Maryland in the NCAA Regionals to cap the year.
Austin became a steady hand in the rotation, going 4-3 in nine starts with a team best 4.75 ERA. He threw 66.1 innings giving up 35 runs with 47 strikeouts and one save.
"Michael was an outstanding leader on our pitching staff and worked like a pro from the day he showed up two years ago," UMBC pitching coach Liam Bowen said in a post Tuesday on the school's athletic website. "I am so happy to see that work and character rewarded him with a championship and a pro contract. He is living proof that we all get what we earn in life, and he earned every bit of this. All of the coaches, players and staff are proud of him."
Austin twice earned Times first-team all-county honors while at Century. He batted .360 with four home runs, two triples, and 20 RBIs as a senior in 2012.
His clubbed seven homers and had 33 RBIs in his junior year while batting .517 — giving him the county's "triple crown" by leading Carroll in all three categories. Austin smacked four of his home runs in one game that season.
Austin holds Century's records for career hits, RBIs, and runs scored, while owning season marks in batting average, hits, and runs.
The Knights went 27-17 over his junior and season seasons.
Austin came to UMBC in 2016 from Bethune-Cookman, where he saw most of his playing time as a relief pitcher.
In 2013 he made three starts and appeared in 20 games. The following year he took the mound in 23 games and crafted a 3.03 ERA, with 19 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. Austin tossed three innings against Miami in the NCAA Regionals that year, and earned MEAC All-Academic honors.
Austin sat out the 2016 season under the NCAA's transfer rules, and earned American East second-team all-conference honors this year.
There's a connection between Carroll County and the Royals — one of the club's assistant general managers is Scott Sharp, a longtime front-office employee who played high school baseball at Liberty (Class of 1990).