From Starter to Closer
Dec. 2, 2009
Hillary Gibbs, Auburn Media Relations
Austin Hubbard has had his ups and down on the baseball field. Because of the adversity he has faced, Hubbard has learned to deal with his hardships head on over the past three years on Auburn's baseball team.
Hubbard's journey as a pitcher for the Auburn Tigers started off strong. As a freshman from Homewood, Ala., Hubbard began his career for the Tigers as a starter, but was quickly replaced after a few tough games.
"My first opening weekend, I was a starter as a freshman," said Hubbard. "Then I didn't do so well and I got moved to the bullpen. Throughout the year, I kind of pitched less and less."
As his sophomore season approached, Hubbard was determined to improve his pitching and determined to win back his starting position on the team. But fate seemed to have another plan for Hubbard and he was quickly moved back to bullpen in the beginning of the season.
Despite the uncertainty of his position on the team, Hubbard never gave up on himself and neither did his coaches. With the support his coaches, Hubbard was given a new opportunity to show off his talents on the field.
"Three or four weeks before [my junior] season started last year, I started pitching better," said Hubbard. "At the team meeting before the season [the coaches] told me I was going to be closing games. That's what I like to be doing. I was more of the closer last year and that was a lot more fun than starting."
Through his trials and tribulations on the field, Hubbard, who throws a two-seam fastball, a cutter and is working on his changeup, has learned valuable lessons that will help him once he graduates and enters the career world.
"Baseball is a game of failure. It makes you mentally stronger," said Hubbard. "It also helps you work through adversity better than others. If you want something, you can do it. I was struggling my first two years here and now I've figured it out. I didn't transfer. I didn't quit on myself."
Through all the hard work Hubbard has put on the Tigers baseball team, the pitcher's mound as become his second home.
"The mound is more of my comfort zone out there; my second home," said Hubbard. "So it's really comfortable. It's nice for me because I work hard all week and that's kind of my playtime. I'm just having fun and trying to get the guy out."
Hubbard, who has been waiting to play in the SEC tournament for his three years on the team, has high hopes for the Auburn Tigers.
"I want to get to play in Birmingham to play in the SEC tournament because we haven't done that since 2003," said Hubbard. "That's a place that has been scarce to us. We really want to go and I definitely think we can. The team has the talent to do that if we stay healthy."
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