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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

Dumey's blue collar approach leads Oran

Sunday, June 18, 2006

(Photo)
Oran's Austin Dumey
Austin Dumey personifies the prototypical blue-collar baseball player.

He conducted his on-field business with very little flash or fanfare, just a lunch-bucket work ethic and workmanlike efficiency.

Dumey, a senior infielder and pitcher for Oran High School, is the 2006 Standard Democrat Player of the Year.

He has also been named to the Class 1 All-State second team as a utility player.

"He's a hard-working kid who comes to work every day and puts in the time," said Mitch Wood, Oran head coach. "When he steps out there, he gets the job done. He's always level-headed and just ready to play ball every day."

Dumey, one of only two senior starters on Oran's third-place state playoff team, was at or near the top in almost all of the Eagles offensive and pitching statistical categories.

While playing in all 31 Oran games, Dumey was third in batting average at .409, second in total hits with 45, first in RBIs with 45, third in runs scored with 34, tied for third in homers with three, third in doubles with six, and tied for first in triples with five.

"I was just trying to get 'em in," said Dumey, on his ability to drive home runs. "I buckled down when people were on base."

On the mound, he led the team in starts with 11 while going 7-2 with one save. He also pitched a team-high 63-plus innings with a 3.30 ERA.

The six-foot, 165-pound Dumey is also a coach's dream. As a two-year regular starter, with occasional starts as a sophomore, he was always willing to tackle any task to help the team, playing multiple positions as well as designated hitter.

"Austin's a good baseball kid who's not a superb athlete, but a great model for the average, everyday player," said Wood. "He's a good role model for kids that are not super-talented. He just works hard and does what he's asked to do by the coaches."

Dumey has been to the MSHSAA Class 1 final four three of his four high school seasons, as the Eagles have posted two runners-up finishes to go with this season's third place. In total, Oran has garnered three seconds and five thirds at the state level.

"It feels good to be part of the tradition of Oran baseball, the best years of baseball I've ever been around," said Dumey. "It was fun playing for the Oran Eagles.

"Yeah, it was disappointing to finish third my senior season. I think some of us were looking for first and some of us were just happy to be there, but third'll work for me."

Said Wood, "I was extremely happy with him during the playoffs and, definitely, during the final four. He pitched a very good ballgame in the semifinal, certainly good enough to win. You never have to worry about him getting nervous or getting caught up in the moment."

The Eagles committed six costly errors in a 6-2 semifinal loss to eventual Class 1 champion Sacred Heart. Dumey started and pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits.

Wood, on Dumey's contributions as a senior leader, said, "He wasn't vocal at all. He was a leader by example more than by talking."

Dumey's demeanor -- unflappable, calm, positive -- was paramount in keeping a young Oran team, comprised mostly of underclassmen, on an even keel throughout the season.

"If I had a bad day, I'd try to keep my head in the game and just keep playing," he said. "I wouldn't let it get me down and the younger players fed off that."

On his future in baseball, Dumey, an avid outdoorsman who loves fishing and hunting, said he had decided that this past season would be his last.

Immediately following the high school season, Dumey headed to Arkansas and a job with his grandfather's construction company. He wants to become a construction supervisor.

However, Dumey hedged a bit on the subject of his baseball future, saying, "If I had a chance to play someplace, I probably would."

Wood said he felt Dumey was capable of playing at the junior college level. "He's got a lot of other interests," added Wood. "It's just a matter of if he wants to."

If Dumey, in fact, has played his final baseball game, he certainly closed his high school career on a high note.