JUCO Pitchers Butler, DeShields Join YSU Baseball Program

Eastwood Field
Eastwood Field

The Youngstown State baseball team has signed talented junior college pitchers Austin Butler and Kip DeShields for the 2017-18 academic year, YSU head coach Dan Bertolini announced.

Butler is a 6-foot-4 right-hander from Hinsdale, Ill., who pitched at Lake-Sumter State College in Florida in 2017. DeShields is a 6-foot-5 righty from Beloit, Ohio, who is a graduate of West Branch High and pitched for two years at St. Petersburg College before transferring home to the Mahoning Valley. Both pitchers have a year of starting and a year of closing on their junior college resumes.

Butler and DeShields join a large group of newcomers slated to become Penguins in the fall. Youngstown State had 13 student-athletes sign a National Letter Intent in November, and four of those were junior college transfers.

Austin Butler

RHP | 6'4" | 190 | Hinsdale, Ill. | Hinsdale Central H.S. | Lake-Sumter State College

Highlights: Pitched at Lake-Sumter State College (Florida) in 2017 as a redshirt sophomore, making 21 appearances and recording four saves... Assembled a 6.04 ERA in 22.1 innings while striking out 28 batters… Had a 2.70 ERA over a two-month stretch from Feb. 3 through April 1 in which he allowed five earned runs in 16.2 innings… Coach was Rich Billings… Played his freshman year at Weatherford College (Texas) in 2015 for coach Jeff Lightfoot... Posted a 6.39 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 12.2 innings… Made 12 appearances and did not allow an earned run in each of the final three… High School coach was Jason Ziemer... Parents are Susan and Bart.

Coach Bertolini on Butler: "We are so excited to have Austin as a Penguin. He is an athletic right-handed pitcher from a top junior college in Florida who can show a low 90's fastball with an above average breaking ball. We think he can be an immediate impact arm for us and someone with great character and work ethic."

Butler on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU because the coaching staff will help me develop as baseball player with the wealth of knowledge they have. I felt right at home my first time on campus and knew it was the right fit for me."

Kip DeShields

RHP | 6'5" | 230 | Beloit, Ohio | West Branch H.S. | St. Petersburg College

Highlights: Pitched the last two seasons at St. Petersburg College, one as a starter and one as the closer… Pitched in 19 games as a sophomore, 16 of which were out of the bullpen, in 2016-17… Went 2-2 with four saves… Struck out 30 batters over 29.2 innings while registering a 6.37 ERA… After allowing 17 earned runs in his first four innings, he surrendered just four over his final 25.2 innings… In 2015-16, started 12 games and pitched in two more out of the bullpen… Went 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA over 66.2 innings… Struck out 38 batters and held opponents to a .236 batting average… Was selected Second Team All-Suncoast Conference… Coach was Ryan Beckman… At West Branch High School, earned First-Team All-Northeastern Buckeye Conference and all-district honors… Led the Warriors to the Division II Regional Semifinals as a senior when he batted .429 with eight doubles, four triples and three homers… Had 11 consecutive hits during his senior year, making him one of 18 players in state history to accomplish the feat… Was an eleven time Scholar-Athlete, and played in the Mizuno All-Ohio game… Played for Coach Shawn Alazaus... Parents are Penny and Walt.

Coach Bertolini on DeShields: "We are excited to welcome Kip to the Penguins baseball family and to have him back home in Youngstown. It is very important that we get the best players from the area, and I think we got a great one here with Kip. He was a two year starter at St. Petersburg College and gained valuable experience. He is a big right-handed pitcher who will showcase an upper 80's fastball with the ability to bump it up to 90. He has good secondary stuff, and we will look for him to be in the mix for our weekend rotation."

DeShields on Choosing YSU: "I chose YSU for the great opportunity to succeed with their great facilities and coaches. It is a place I see myself working hard to develop my game to achieve my full potential. I am excited to come home and finish my last two years of school and help the team in the best way I can."

Updated list of YSU baseball newcomers in 2017-18

Player Position Hometown Previous College
Corey Burkes LHP Coraopolis, Pa.  
Austin Butler RHP Hinsdale, Ill. Lake-Sumter State College
Colin Clark LHP Circleville, Ohio  
Chad Coles RHP North Huntingdon, Pa.  
Cody Dennis IF Fairborn, Ohio Sinclair CC
Kip DeShields RHP Beloit, Ohio St. Petersburg College
Vince Donato 1B Highland Heights, Ohio  
Dalton Earich RHP New Franklin, Ohio  
Blaze Glenn IF Toronto, Ohio Sinclair CC
Nick LaBrasca 1B DuBois, Pa.  
Zach Lopatka LHP/OF Exeter, Pa. Lackawanna CC
Nick Massey OF Beavercreek, Ohio Sinclair CC
Andrew Shivak RHP Naples, Fla.  
Jon Snyder RHP Springboro, Ohio  
Jeff Wehler IF St. Mary's, Pa.