According to Desoto Central High School teammate and future MSU Bulldog teammate Brant Blaylock, Austin Riley is an intimidating presence at the plate and on the mound.
"Obviously, he's a low-90s pitcher, and he can hit the ball well," said Brant, also a 2015 MSU Bulldog commitment. "He's intimidating at the plate. Even when he's not getting hits people are still throwing around him, which gives other people the opportunity to hit. He's such an intimidating factor that at any point or any pitch he can change the game."
Riley is excited to know that he will be playing with two of his current teammates, Brant as well as MSU 2015 commit Keegan James, during his Bulldog career, which will start the fall of 2015.
"It's going to be fun playing with each other at Mississippi State," said Riley. "We play with each other on our high school team and also on our summer team (Dulins Dodgers). Once we all get to Mississippi State, we will already know how each other plays, whether it is on defense or batting."
A catcher/third baseman/pitcher up until this season, he is now exclusively a third baseman/pitcher for Desoto Central High.
"I'm just playing third base now and not catching," said Riley.
And he feels not having to catch has given him more time to work on his defense and offense.
"I'm getting a lot of reps with ground balls and that has helped me," said Riley, who came into the 6A state championship series against Oak Grove hitting .486 with 9 home runs and 34 RBI in 105 at-bats. "And hitting, we hit every day. I have learned to repeat the swing. And I think that has helped me a lot."
Riley keeps up with his future team, Mississippi State, as often as he can. And he's been impressed with what he's seen from them this season.
"Mississippi State is coming on strong and I think they are going to make a run at it like they did last year," said the talented youngster. "It is awesome watching them. I watched them (Wednesday night at the SEC Tournament against South Carolina), and they were all hyped up and into the game and getting hit after hit. It's going to be awesome playing there."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.