Austing, Mallek Named Preseason All-Americans for SCSU Baseball
Originally posted January 4, 2019 on KVSC.org
With Opening Day under a month away, two senior St. Cloud State Baseball players earned high preseason honors as the team readies for its highly-anticipated 2019 campaign.
Righthanded pitcher Dominic Austing and right fielder Mitch Mallek have been named Preseason All-Americans by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Austing will likely be tabbed as the Huskies’ Opening Day Starter after a dominant 2018, going 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA and a 2.10 FIP over 78.2 innings and 13 starts. He posted a 0.877 WHIP while holding opponents to a .211 average and a .526 OPS, striking out 24.3% of batters faced and delivering an NSIC-low 2.9% walk rate. The Huskies’ ace picked up ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-Region and Second Team All-NSIC nods at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
"It’s fun being recognized," said Austing, "I don’t really like the attention too much but I appreciate people noticing. My success has come largely because of the people I’m surrounded by. I plan on living up to the award and seeing the team have a lot of success and fun this year along the way."
Mallek will serve as St. Cloud State’s right fielder and key middle-of-the-order cog for a third straight season after a 2018 campaign in which he slashed .383/.459/.531 for a .990 OPS. The left handed hitter clubbed a team-high 11 doubles and 5 home runs, driving in 32 while scoring 43 runs. He also went 4-5 on the basepaths on his way to being named ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-Region and First Team All-NSIC.
"I’m pretty excited about being named an All-American," Mallek said, "It’s a great accolade and I am eager to get back to St. Cloud."
12th-year head coach Pat Dolan points to Austing and Mallek’s character as primary factors in their success.
"Both Dom and Mitch are obviously talented baseball players," said Dolan, "When you put talent along with the dedication and hard work they have put in and the fact that they’re just flat out nice guys, it’s a formula deserving of being preseason All-Americans.
Dolan now has six All-Americans on roster, with Austing and Mallek joining pitchers Sheldon Miks (2015-16), Zach Walz (2017), Cal Giese (2018), and Blake Flint (2018).
"They are both humble and they are both hungry," Dolan said, "And that’s another great combination for success."
Austing now leads a rotation loaded with four All-Americans, joined by Miks, Giese, and Flint. He’s excited for the chance to play with so many talented arms.
"I’m looking forward to the internal competition this team will have," said Austing, "I know personally that all those guys are going to push me to want to outplay them, and I think the opposite is true. We all can teach each other something, so as a collective staff we have all the opportunity in the world."
Mallek spent his summer as an everyday corner outfielder for the Northwoods League’s Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, just 20 minutes from his hometown in Plover. Playing in 58 games against some of the best arms in college baseball, he slashed .293/.367/.372 with 12 doubles, a home run and 24 RBI. He feels that his mental side of the game took a big step forward during his second year in the Northwoods.
"The biggest aspect of the game that the Northwoods League taught me," Mallek explained, "Was that coming to the yard every day is not only physically demanding, but also mentally demanding. Regardless of how well or poor you played individually one night, you really had to have a short memory because you had a new game the next day. You really couldn’t let a bad loss or a couple bad at-bats get you down mentally, otherwise that would carry over to the next game, starting a negative cycle. I gained a crazy amount of physical and mental reps which I believe helped me become a better teammate and player overall."
Senior first baseman Mat Meyer was named a Player to Watch by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, while junior center fielder Najee Gaskins was tabbed as a Newcomer to Watch.
The Huskies will open their 2019 season on February 1st at the Houston Winter Classic against 2018 World Series participant Texas A&M-Kingsville, with first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CST. "Voice of Huskies Baseball" Thomas Breach will have the call at Minute Maid Park on the KVSC Sports Stream with Husky Den Pregame at 12:30 p.m. CST.