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Hart's Russ commits to USC

Indians baseball player saw first year of varsity action in 2013

Posted: August 1, 2013 7:08 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2013 7:08 p.m.
Hart High first baseman Austin Russ. Hart High first baseman Austin Russ.
Hart High first baseman Austin Russ.

Hart High first baseman and junior-to-be Austin Russ has verbally committed to USC, according to Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

Russ batted .254 with a home run and 12 RBI last season in his first varsity year.

“He’s got a high upside,” Ozella said. “He’s a left-handed hitter who’s shown power, shown improving athleticism, arm’s getting better and better. He made dramatic improvements at the end of spring. We talked about becoming more athletic. I thought he’s improved his athleticism. He’s doing more and more in the field and at plate and taken an opportunity and run with it. He’s become a really good player. I think that’s what USC sees and other schools that were interested saw in him.”

Ozella said there were other offers for the 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound player.

Russ’ biggest moment of the spring season came on April 24 when he hit a walk-off home run against Valencia and Loyola Marymount-bound pitcher J.D. Busfield.

He also helped the Indians win the 2013 summer Valley Invitational Baseball League championship.

Russ is the third Pac-12-bound player on the Hart roster.

Senior-to-be Nick Valaika and fellow junior-to-be Dayton Provost are committed to UCLA.



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