Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
As a three-year starter, Western International High second baseman Brandon Austin hopes to end his Detroit Public School League baseball career in familiar fashion.
“Winning championships, that’s what I look forward to every year,’’ said Austin, the PSL’s Proud Strong Learner of the Week. “I want to be the perfect man my senior year. This is my last year of high school. I want to get it done.”
Austin, who entered this week batting .308 (4-for-13) and has played solid defense, is one of just two senior starters for Coach Mike Vazquez’s Cowboys, who captured their third consecutive PSL crown last year.
Despite some early struggles against stiff competition this spring, Western is again expected to be one of the teams playing in the PSL championship game, set for Thursday, May 19 at Comerica Park.
“We’re 2-5 overall right now, but all of our losses have come outside the league,’’ Vazquez said. “We play a tough nonleague schedule to prepare us for down the road. We definitely want to take our lumps now and try to dish some out at the end of the year.”
It helps to have a team-oriented player like Austin to set a positive example for the underclassmen.
“Brandon Austin is a stellar second baseman and an even better student,’’ Vazquez said. “On top of hitting over .300 for us and not kicking the ball around in the field, he’s just an awesome young man in every way and does everything he can to succeed.”
In 2008, Austin competed in Anaheim, Calif. with his Detroit RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner-Cities) summer league team and was featured on ESPN. He has continued to flourish on the field since then and considers defense to be the strength of his game.
“When I’m at second base, nothing gets past me,’’ he said. “I have good hands. That’s the one aspect of my game that I really take pride in.”
With a 3.4 grade point average, Austin will be heading to Saginaw Valley State University in the fall.
“I’m going there not only for athletics but also for academics,’’ he said. “It’s every kid’s dream to make it to the major leagues. But if I don’t make it as far as I want in baseball, I want to be a pharmacist or an accountant.”
With an older brother already playing college baseball, Austin says he’s just following the lead. But he’s also become a team leader in his own right.
“It’s been a delight to coach Brandon and we’re honored to have had him these years at Western,” Vazquez said. “I’m really looking forward to bigger things from him in the future.”