Austin Thompson plays in all-star baseball series
Austin Thompson, 18, thought his high school baseball playing days were over after he graduated from Gainesville High School in May. Then he received a surprise phone call from GHS coach Tyler Knight, who told him he was invited to play in the June 11-12, 2011, Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Series at Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
High school seniors from all over Missouri were selected based on their high school baseball statistics and recommendations from coaches. Austin's stats at the end of his senior season were impressive - a .441 batting average; .448 on-base; .735 slugging; and .958 fielding. He won the MVP award and was a first team all-conference player, along with his teammate Will Johnson.
The MHSBCA Series was made up of four classes with two teams of 18 players in each class. "All the players got a chance to bat and field," said Austin's mother, Christy Thompson. "There was a lot of amazing talent there."
Austin played four innings, two catching and two in right field. He hit a single on his first at-bat and was hit by a pitch on his second. His team fell just short of a win with a final score of 4-3.
"Austin was so honored to be there, I don't think the loss bothered him too much," Christy said. "It really was an experience of a lifetime. He loved every single minute of it and didn't stop smiling the whole time he was there. His dad, Shawn, and I couldn't be more proud of him."
After the game ended, Austin shook the coach's hand and thanked him for the opportunity. The coach said he wished Austin could have played more, but Austin shook his head and said, "You could've set me on the bench and it wouldn't have bothered me - it was a privilege just to be here."