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Turlock grad Austin Bush playing for top summer league
Recent Turlock High graduate Austin Bush leans towards a hit during a playoff game earlier in the season against Tokay High at University of Pacific. Bush will be attending University California, Santa Barbara. - photo by Journal file photo


Austin Bush, the 6-foot-6, 255 pound Bush, who is a fresh Turlock High graduate, has his eyes set on the big leagues but before doing so the big man must prepare himself for Division I baseball by playing in the West Coast League.

Earlier in the year Bush chose to serve his impeccable talent to University California, Santa Barbara in hopes of receiving a college education and perhaps become something more than just a college graduate but also a major leaguer.

“I plan to obtain my degree but my main goal is to play baseball and see how far I can go with the game I love,” Bush said.

Bush decided to play at a top summer league in the country like his Turlock High teammate Brett Cumberland—competing in the Pacific Northwest’s’ WCL—a league for college-eligible student athletes.

The difference is that Bush was set up to play against and not with Cumberland after joining the Kitsap Bluejackets and is currently the second youngest player and one of only four high school players on the team.

“My college coaches actually set me up on this team. I had the option to stay in California and play on local summer teams or come up to the West Coast League and play. The differences from this and high school is the better competition, plain and simple,” said Bush.

At the age of 18, size and athleticism is not a question as the youngster finished his senior career with the Bulldogs leading his team to a Division I sectional title game, though they eventually lost to St. Mary’s.

The year was much more than a team success as they won 27 games in 30 contests due to in large part to Bush’s approach and presence on the plate. But the star managed to rack up a .398 batting average and a .509 on-base percentage in the process and led the team in RBIs with 32.

His average and on base percentage was second on the team with only Cumberland’s .410 average and on base percentage of .565 just above Bush.

Playing time has been there for Bush, who has played in every game thus far, and the continuation of his progress should see steady improvement with the season moving forward despite the tough and much more experienced competition.

“The competition up here is more competitive, I feel, than in California summer leagues and will help me prepare for college ball by playing against college players,” said Bush. “This summer league is very beneficial because I am facing college competition that I have ever seen before.”

Bush’s numbers have smoothly transferred over to the summer league ball as he currently has racked up a .381 average in 14 games played and leads the team in home runs (2) and RBI (15).

While it is still early to tell, Bush still has hopes and dreams that his future will include an opportunity to play in the Majors.

“My plan, if all goes well is to get drafted my junior year and then finish school in the off-season. I would sure take a great deal and finish my education in the spare time and off-season,” said Bush who will turn 19 in December.

Bush won’t begin training with his future collegiate squad until Aug. 4.

“I chose this school because it had everything I wanted in a school and more. The school is great academically and the baseball team is up and coming. I’m excited to join the program and plan to be an impact guy, hopefully playing first or DH’ing my freshman year,” Bush added.