Madison’s Austin Brown commits to play baseball for Marshall University

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published September 26, 2018

 Madison Heights Madison senior Austin Brown prepares to throw the ball during a game against Marine City High Sept. 14. Although Brown has committed to play baseball for Marshall University, he is in the midst of his final season as Madison’s quarterback.

Madison Heights Madison senior Austin Brown prepares to throw the ball during a game against Marine City High Sept. 14. Although Brown has committed to play baseball for Marshall University, he is in the midst of his final season as Madison’s quarterback.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

 Madison Heights Madison senior Austin Brown is pictured at a baseball practice this past season. Brown has committed to play baseball for Marshall University.

Madison Heights Madison senior Austin Brown is pictured at a baseball practice this past season. Brown has committed to play baseball for Marshall University.

File photo by Sean Work

Advertisement

Until earlier this summer, Austin Brown’s path seemed pretty clear — complete his senior season as Madison Heights Madison’s quarterback before taking his football skills to the next level.

However, after being approached by a former scout for the Chicago Cubs following a showcase baseball tournament at Eastern Michigan University in June, Brown’s life and mindset changed.

“This guy stopped us,” said Madison Athletic Director Jimmy Brown, who is also Austin’s dad. “He’s like, ‘Hey, this guy, he’s got the tools, man.’”

The former scout helped connect Austin Brown with the Huntington Hounds, a travel baseball program in West Virginia.

After having a “really, really good tournament” with the Hounds, Jimmy Brown said his son was offered by Marshall University.

Although the younger Brown did play baseball for Madison as a junior this past spring, he did not play the sport for Novi Detroit Catholic Central, which was the school he attended as a freshman and sophomore.

“I didn’t even know I was (going to) be playing baseball my junior year this year,” Austin Brown said. “It ended up happening, and I got on with a travel team in the summer, and then it kind (of) just took flight.”

He expects to have the opportunity to pitch and play shortstop for Marshall, which is located in West Virginia.

Although Jimmy Brown didn’t know his son’s exact numbers from this past season at Madison, he said, “I (want to) say he hit over .600 and his ERA in the regular season was pretty much zero.”

The opportunity to play at the NCAA Division I level didn’t come as a shock to Madison baseball coach Scott LaBrash.

“The kid could play any position on the field — strong arm, good speed, good bat from (the) left and right side,” LaBrash said. “I’ve known him for a while and I knew he was good, but when I saw him playing for me last year, I knew the kid had talent to play at least (at) the Division I level.”

One of Austn Brown’s reasons for choosing Marshall is similar to what helped prompt him to transfer to Madison prior to becoming a junior.

“Marshall feels like home,” he said. “When I leave my doorstep and I get there, I feel like I just stepped into my backyard.”

On his first visit, he said he was shown “some good love.”

“That’s really what I’m looking for, is some loyalty, and they show that,” he said.

While at Marshall, Austin Brown also expects to have the opportunity to walk on to the football team. But before he has a chance to play either sport at the NCAA level, there is still his senior football season at Madison to attend to.

After going 12-1 last year, with their only loss coming in a Division 7 semifinal, the Eagles have been having another solid season.

At press time, Madison was 4-0 overall, prior to playing Warren Fitzgerald Sept. 21.

“I don’t think we’ve played our best game yet, which is scary,” Austin Brown said. “Sky’s the limit with us, really.”

Up next, the Eagles play at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at home against Farmington High.

Advertisement