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Transfer Deckinga was a perfect fit for Warriors

Wiesbaden's Austin Deckinga throws a pitch during a game against Ramstein on Day 2 of the boys Division I DODEA-Europe baseball championships, May 24, 2019.

BRIAN FERGUSON/STARS AND STRIPES

By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 6, 2019

For Wiesbaden baseball coach Steve Jewell, Warriors star Austin Deckinga merges a lot of positive qualities that don’t often exist within the same player.

A “natural athlete” with the work ethic to maximize those gifts.

A calm, “even-keel” presence on the diamond with the competitive fire to “amp it up” when the situation requires.

An all-around player who can contribute to winning in any number of ways but still manages to “stay within himself.”

Finally, a newcomer to an established program who accepted a leadership role without hesitation.

That combination of skills and abilities had made Deckinga the 2019 Stars and Stripes baseball Athlete of the Year.

“He’s a joy to coach,” Jewell said.

Deckinga’s statistics this season bear out his coach’s superlatives. On the mound, Deckinga struck out 48 batters and pitched to a 0.95 earned run average; at the plate, he reached base more often than not, posting a .489 batting average and a .554 on-base percentage.

While the Warriors were thrilled to add Deckinga to the program upon his October arrival from Florida, Deckinga himself was pleased to find a solid baseball program awaiting him in Germany. A veteran of highly competitive prep ball in the St. Petersburg area, Deckinga was concerned about what he’d encounter on the rougher diamonds of Europe, and how it might affect his development as a baseball prospect. He was pleasantly surprised with how the spring played out.

“I didn’t think it would help me at all,” Deckinga said. “But it honestly did a lot.”

And Deckinga’s presence certainly benefited the Warriors, who enjoyed a 10-2 regular-season record and a strong run to the Division I semifinals.

“I’ve always been taught...to take leadership when it’s needed,” Deckinga said. “I carried that out here.”

broome.gregory@stripes.com
Twitter: @broomestripes

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