Baltimore, Md.—Former UMBC standout pitcher Michael Austin (Eldersburg, Md./Bethune-Cookman) signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, June 20. Austin becomes the second player in as many years to sign a pro contract. He is the 18th Retriever in program history to compete professionally.
Austin is coming off a stellar year as he helped the Retrievers capture their first America East Championship in program history. The Dawgs fell to Wake Forest and Maryland in the NCAA Regionals to cap the year.
Austin became a steady hand in the Retriever 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 (Austin) 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. "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 will join Kevin Lachance, '16 as the only two former UMBC players still active in professional baseball. Lachance is currently with the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League, the Rookie League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.