Austin Powell Commits To AState Baseball

Arkansas State baseball picks up third commitment from Star City

In what has been an active summer for the Arkansas State baseball program, Red Wolves coach tommy Raffo has been finding recruits in clusters. Twice he has gone to one family -- Cullen and Conrad Ray of Germantown, Tenn., and Chase and Colten Nix, twins from Benton – to add to the Red Wolves’ roster.

But the biggest haul has come from the southeast Arkansas community of Star City.

Highly regarded catcher Austin Powell recently joined teammates Blake Wynn and Garry Hill to make a pledge to the Red Wolves. They are the backbone of a Bulldogs team that won the Class 4A state title and will be a big favorite to repeat this fall.

"I'm excited,’’ he said “It was a hard decision. When we heard coach (Tighe) Dickinson had left to take a job in Florida, Coach Raffo drove to Joplin, Mo., where we were playing in a tournament to tell us face to face about him leaving. That really meant a lot for him to do that. It showed a lot of class.

“It made me have a lot of respect for coach Raffo. He did not have to drive all the way up there and tell us that but he felt it was important that he did.”

Dickinson, the Red Wolves former pitching coach, was the lead recruiter for the Star City trio.

While teammates Hill and Wynn are dual position players who spend time on the mound, Powell, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, is a catcher.

It is really the only position I've ever played. I started when I first started playing baseball. We didn’t have anyone who could catch the ball so I started playing there.”

Powell said having two teammates played a role in his decision to become a Red Wolf. He was also considering Memphis and Crowder (Mo.) College.

He plays summer ball for the Rawlings Prospects, which is where A-State first saw him play a few years ago. This past season for the Bulldogs, he batted .480 with 45 RBIs.

This fall he is hoping to bring another state title to Star City. He is the starting tight end for the Bulldogs’ football team, which is one of the favorites in Class 4A. He earned All-Conference in football last season.