For the love of the game: Madison’s Brown going to Marshall for baseball
Like reuniting with a long-lost girlfriend, Madison Heights Madison multi-sport wunderkind Austin Brown rediscovered his love for the game of baseball these past few months. He committed to play on the diamond at Marshall University in West Virginia this week, surprising many who assumed he was heading to college to play football as a quarterback.
Because of football training and a transfer back to his home district from spending his first two years of high school in the Catholic League at Detroit Catholic Central, before the spring of 2018 Brown hadn’t laced up his glove and cleats in two years. He didn’t waste much time getting re-acclimated to his surroundings though, posting a 0.92 ERA, averaging double-digit numbers in strikeouts per game and hitting .575 at the plate in his first season playing for Madison.
“I had taken a couple years off from the game, now I’m obsessed with baseball and that played a lot into my choice,” he said. “I found my love for baseball coming back again and it was as strong as it was when I was a young kid. This was all since April. That just made me hungry to get more into it. Marshall is giving me the chance to go one step further with the game and compete at the college level. That’s got me, my dad and my grandpa, both big baseball guys, all really pumped.”
The Marshall coaching staff has informed Brown they are OK with him going out for football as well at the school, an opportunity he’s probably going to take advantage of. Marshall has produced NFL quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich.
Last fall, the 6-foot-1 Brown booked a glitzy stat line of 3,150 yards and 33 touchdowns through the air on the gridiron. His Madison Eagles club went 12-1 before losing 14-7 to Saugatuck in the Division 7 state semifinals. Brown was named Division 7 Player of the Year. As a freshman and sophomore, he started under at Division 1 Catholic Central, leading the Shamrocks to a Catholic League championship in 2016. Akron, Miami (OH), Cornell, Dartmouth and Harvard all offered him for football.
Brown and his Eagles open the 2018 campaign Saturday versus Center Line down at the Prep Kickoff Classic hosted at Wayne State’s Adams Field. Madison’s head coach is retired NFL cornerback James Rogers, an alum of Madison Heights Lamphere and the University of Michigan. In the winter, Brown is an all-state point guard on the basketball floor.