Feb. 5, 2013

CBI Conference USA preview


Inside: With Rice's Austin Kubitza

By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

sean@collegebaseballinsider.com @collbaseball


Austin Kubitza (left) is a junior right-hander from Colleyville, Texas. He has been a two-year starter for the Owls, going 12-10 in his career with a 2.50 ERA. After being named Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2011, Kubitza was 6-5 in this past season with a 2.69 ERA, holding opponents to a batting average of .211 while earning First Team All-Conference USA honors. He helped Rice go 41-19 overall and 17-7 in league play, winning the C-USA regular-season title. It was the program’s 17th straight conference championship (regular season and/or conference tournament title).


Kubitza was voted 2013 C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year by the league’s head coach and was named Second Team Preseason All-America by the NCBWA.


1. The Owls lost a lot of firepower on the mound. How does your role change, if at all, as you're now one of the senior members of the staff?
I wouldn’t say it changes much pitching-wise. I go out there, give it my all and help the team win. Off the field, more of a leader role, making sure everyone knows what needs to be done.

2. What are some areas that you've tried to improve since the 2012 season?
Mostly using the other side of the plate, throwing in to righties and away to lefties. That’s something that I’ve worked on over the summer and in the fall.

3. Describe your experience in the Cape. What lessons did you learn?
A learning experience. I faced a couple guys that we’ll see this year and played with a couple guys we’ll see this year, so using that as more of a scouting aspect of it. It was a lot of fun, a great experience.

4. What have you learned from your brother, Kyle, a former star at Texas State?
We talk a lot about minor league ball. He said he loves every minute of it. He’s used to the long bus trips from being at Texas State. It’s something we’ve both grown up having a dream, having a passion for. He’s told me a lot about it and he’s excited to hopefully see me go down that same path.

5. Rank the three biggest highlights in your baseball career.

Freshman year against A&M at Minute Maid. Last year playing against Arkansas. We lost that game but I was happy with how I threw. Winning conference the past two years, going into the last series which was pretty big, being able to come through, my team and all of us pulling together to win that conference championship


(photos courtesy of Rice Media Relations)